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Hankoff nets Viking post

Michael Traum

The expectations will be high. Incoming South Tahoe High volleyball coach Gary Hankoff is well aware that his Vikings will be a Northern Nevada 4A favorite next fall, with the chance to win state a tangible reality.

Hankoff was selected the new coach on Tuesday. He replaces Alan Lambert, a six-year mentor who resigned earlier this year after posting an 80-22 league mark, with two division titles, two seconds, a third and, most recently, a state tournament berth in which the Vikings finished fifth out of eight teams.

“There’s a lot of talent, no doubt,” said Hankoff, who inherits a handful of experience, including his daughter, Adrian, last year’s Northern Nevada player of the year. “I’m not going to just walk in there and make a bunch of changes. We’re going to dedicate this year to the seniors. We’re going to find out what their goals are and help them achieve it. This is their time.”

Hankoff served as an assistant at South Tahoe in 1995. He most recently coached the Gold Trail Volleyball Club 16-and-under team and was an assistant at El Dorado High last year.

“Gary’s got great credentials and come highly recommended. We look forward to working with him,” said Frank Kovac, South Tahoe athletic director.

No doubt the girls will set their sights on the Nevada title. Even though last year’s berth was just the first in six years, the momentum and experience gained could mean big things for the Vikes.

Hankoff said he’ll let the seniors determine their own fate while beginning to implement his own style at South Tahoe.

“I feel they’re capable of winning state with a big commitment. I think it’s their goal and I definitely think we can compete with the Southern Nevada teams,” Hankoff said. “My plans for the program can’t really start until the following year, working with the younger girls. That’s one of the reasons I’m excited about getting this job. I want to put South Tahoe volleyball on the map. Ultimately, I’d like to see Viking volleyball get nationally ranked.”

Hankoff plans to prepare his Vikings with a pair of contests against top teams, including St. Mary’s of Stockton, Calif., and El Dorado of Placerville. The league season begins next September.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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