Catalona named new Rockvale volleyball coach

FALON CATALANO

Falon Catalano is certainly back in her comfort zone.

After spending one season as Rockvale High School's volleyball coach, the former Riverdale standout pitcher was named the program's head softball coach Monday.

"I played softball forever and all through high school and college," said Catalano, who was an assistant coach for the Rockets this abbreviated season. "It's right in my wheelhouse. I'm excited to take over a program and leave my personal mark. It's a new program and it will be fun to keep establishing the culture we started this year.

"You get to make it what you want. If you go to a school that's been around you have to tip toe around the established culture. It's exciting to build that up and what it's supposed to be."

Catalano played her first two years of high school ball at Coffee County before finishing at Riverdale in 2004 and 2005.

She went to Lipscomb her first year but suffered a shoulder injury, so she came back to Riverdale to help Jeff Breeden as an assistant coach. She was on the staff when the Warriors won the 2009 state title. She then played one year at Motlow State and transferred to Union College in Kentucky where she finished her eligibility.

Rockvale will return its entire team next season along with welcoming its incoming freshmen class.

"It's like we're team 1.25. We barely got to play a quarter of our season and two district games," Catalano said. "It’s really going to impact our girls missing out on the rest of the season and building together and getting playing experience.

"On top of that they're going to miss some, or most, or all of travel ball. That will definitely affect us to build upon skills."

Catalano said she's hopeful she will be able to work with her team this summer.

"I'm really hoping for some good news on June 1 when the Board meets and when we find out when we can resume," she said. "It's super imperative we get back on the field as soon as possible.

"In the summer we are able to have practices and skill days and do scrimmages. We're hoping they'll loosen the reins a little bit. Hopefully we can get with some high schools, maybe three or four, and play each other once a week where we can get a couple of games in."

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