Volleyball Coach Resigns


Payson High School volleyball coach Steve Konvalin, who only last fall was selected an Arizona Coaches' Association All-Star coach, resigned his position just one day into the 1999 season.

Konvalin submitted his resignation to PHS Athletic Director Barry Smith Tuesday morning. Preseason practices began Monday.

After accepting the resignation, Smith lauded the efforts of the former coach. "Steve has done a great job and we will miss him," he said.

The reasons for Konvalin stepping down were personal, Smith said.

The former coach, a PHS alumnus and Northern Arizona University graduate, said he resigned to spend more time with his family, which includes children 18 months and three years of age.

Konvalin will stay on at Payson High School as a special education teacher.

In 1992, following his graduation from NAU, Konvalin was appointed athletic trainer and the freshman volleyball coach at Payson High.

After a successful first season, he took over the reins of varsity coach and has headed the program since.

In his rookie year, the Lady Horns were shut out of the state tournament but since have won five consecutive trips to the state showdown.

Last year, a mediocre showing during the regular season seemed to spell the demise of any hopes the Lady Horns might harbor of reaching the state tournament. Almost magically, the team rallied late in the campaign to win the Central Division tournament championship and earn the No. 1 seed to state.

On the way to the Central crown, the Lady Horns dramatically defeated two teams -- Miami and Fountain Hills -- that had dominated them during the regular season.

In the first round of the state tournament, Konvalin's charges continued to unleash their newfound spirited play, upsetting Wickenburg 2-0.

Only one match later, however, the Horns' victory run came to a screeching halt in a 2-1 loss to Monument Valley.

At the onset of this season, Konvalin said one of the team goals he wanted to accomplish was for the Lady Horns to go more than two games into the state tournament -- a feat never before accomplished.

Weems is new coach

Payson High School Athletic Director Barry Smith has appointed PHS English teacher Sue Weems to replace Steve Konvalin as the Lady Longhorn varsity volleyball coach. Weems took over duties early this week following Konvalin's resignation.

Weems, a former PHS volleyball player and an assistant coach under Konvalin, headed the school's club volleyball team last year.

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