Fall sports preview: Soccer and Volleyball

Graphic by Emily Hsu

With summer ending shortly and fall sports starting up soon, men and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball will start up this coming September.

Coach Tao Shen is about to get real busy, but excitement is in the air for him and his coaching staff.

“This time is always exciting for us as coaches as we are looking forward for the new season. New season means a new group of players and new challenges ahead of us,” said Shen.

With a lot of sophomores leaving on both the men and women’s teams new players are coming to the soccer program at Bellevue College.

Comparing to last year’s teams to this upcoming year’s teams, Shen said, “With 11 players [having] signed [the] Letter of Intent for each program we’ll have talented players step in and fill the shoes from the graduated players.”

The women’s team made the first round of playoffs last year and Shen is looking to improve that.  “The women’s program should be stronger than our last year’s team,” said Shen.

But he says that it all matters on how they come together in every stage of the season. In order to play well they have to be able to work together. “I am looking forward for positive results with them and should be playing some attractive soccer. The group so far looks very promising,” said Shen. The men’s team has always been very good and is always filled with some very talented players.

“The goal with them [is to] have them play one – touch soccer or tiki taka style of soccer and allow them enjoy the game and each other.”

With such good players in the men’s program at Bellevue the tryouts will only produce one or two players and have a roster of 23 people.

Being able to work with the players every day is the most exciting part of the upcoming season.

“Great part of this is preseason starts one month before school which allows us plan two-a-day practices from August 13 until [the] first day of school.

“This prepares the players physically and mentally in order to endure the ups and downs of a collegiate soccer season,” said Shen. Getting the players focused is hard, but they know what Coach Shen wants from them.

He said that he has been working with them during the winter and that he is sure that they are just as excited to get out and work hard. Plus he has sophomores that are going to lead the freshman.

“The coaching staff is first class,” said Shen. “[I] expect us to work cohesively with [a] single goal, which is to prepare these athletes to become winners.”

The goal for Coach Shen is to “let go” and trust the athletes to do what they are there to do…play soccer. “With this said I feel this group will care about this program and represent [Bellevue] college to our fullest abilities,” said Shen.

Watch Shen lead both the men’s and women’s soccer team to successfully seasons.

Women’s Volleyball Coach Kim Culliton did not return all requests for an interview.