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* Shoreline volleyball coach to Paralympics with U.S. squad

katieHollway.jpg

Katie Holloway of USA dives for the ball during the Sitting Volleyball match between the USA and the Netherlands at China Agricultural Gymnasium during day six of the 2008 Paralympics Games on September 12, 2008 in Beijing, China.

 

Shoreline Community College volleyball coach Mark West is headed for London.

 

No, West isn’t leaving the college, he’s just adding to his resume as a coach for the U.S. Paralympics women’s sitting volleyball squad. And, as a side benefit, U.S. team member Katie Holloway will be training in Shoreline’s gym before they both leave for the 2012 Paralympic Games, Aug. 29-Sept. 9, at the same venues used for the Olympic Games.

 

Wests.jpg“I’m very excited,” West said. “I’ve been working in volleyball for a long time, but a whole world opened for me about a year ago when I was on the Web and saw ‘sitting volleyball.’

 

“I thought, ‘Did they misspell it, did they mean ‘setting?’”

 

West looked into the sport that requires the athletes to sit on the floor and uses a lower net and smaller court, but otherwise looks much like regular volleyball. “It’s really exciting, new, fun and a challenge. And, it’s a heck of an exercise.”

 

West said he started trying to learn more and eventually connected with Sam Surowiec, an Everett-area resident and wheelchair-basketball player who was looking for a volleyball coach. “Through Sam, I met Katie, who I think actually recruited Sam to the sport,” West said.

 

His interest and background in volleyball earned West an invitation to the national training center in Edmond, Okla., and eventual designation as a coach for U.S. team along with a ticket to London.

 

Before he goes, however, there are youth volleyball camps  that he and his wife, Raquel Chumpitaz-West, coach at Shoreline. And then there’s Holloway’s training.

 

“Katie wants to do some work, but not too much, before London,” West said. “Katie played college basketball (at Cal State – Northridge) with her prosthesis.” West said that Holloway, who had her foot amputated at age 20 months and is now 6-foot-3, is an incredible athlete. Although she now lives in Oklahoma, Holloway grew up in Snohomish County and is home visitng friends and family. 

 

“She just dominates,” West said. “I’m hoping to get Katie in front of some of our camps so the kids can see what is possible.”