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BELLEVILLE, Ont. - After a short break from the team, Loyalist head coach Dominique Dawes has decided to return to the women's volleyball program for the 2018-19 season.

Dawes and co-coach Amy Hoskin anounced at the end of last season that they were stepping down from the program. After taking some time away, the 11-year coaching veteran realized she wasn't content being done with volleyball and made the decision to come back as head coach.

"I originally stepped away from volleyball because I wasn't able to commit myself 100 per cent for a number of reasons. Since then, there have been some changes in my personal life that allowed me to regain my flexibility and in turn, continue to coach," explained Dawes. "Volleyball has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember and no matter what I did, I couldn't get it off my mind. That was when I knew I wasn't ready to step away from the Lancers."

After a successful three-year playing career at Loyalist, Dawes started as an assistant coach in 2005 and has been with the program ever since. The 2016-17 season saw the Lancers back among the top in the league with a 11-7 record and their first trip to the OCAA provincial championship in seven years. Building on that success, the Lancers had their best season in history in 2017-18. With and 18-1 record, the team were the East Division scoring champions and earned their second trip to provincials in as many years.

Dawes is looking forward to getting back in the gym with the returning players and starting to work with some of the new additions. "We've got a good core group of girls coming back to the team and I'm confident in not only their skills on the court, but their abilities as leaders to help the new players coming in. I always say you win as a team and lose as a team but more importantly, you grow as a team."

Athletic Director Jim Buck is thrilled to have Dawes back on staff. "Dominique has been a influential part of our program for so many years and has done really great things for us. She has a proven track record with coaching and is passionate about her sport. She's a huge asset to the program and I'm very happy to have her move into the head coach position."

Dawes will host open try outs for the 2018 season starting on Wednesday, Sept. 5 at 8 p.m.

Source: Loyalist Lancers