Brandy Sonderland has decided it’s time to come home.
The 2006 graduate of River View High School, who spent the past 11 years as a volleyball player and assistant coach at Community Colleges of Spokane, recently was hired as the head volleyball coach at Kennewick High School.
“I am a lone wolf in Spokane,” Sonderland said. “Growing up, we were family centered. We are a family of teachers and coaches. Coaching is teaching, and teaching is coaching, and I love volleyball. I like having an impact on my students and players and seeing young athletes grow in the time you have them.”
Sonderland, 28, replaces Kelly Munson, who left after one year to take an assistant job at Columbia Basin College.
The Lions went 0-14 in Mid-Columbia Conference play last season, but were vastly improved. They went four sets five times, and took Walla Walla to a fifth set early in the season.
Sonderland’s brother, Daniel Sonderland, was an assistant for Munson last season, and let her know the job was open.
“I kind of heard through the grapevine,” she said. “I’m at the time in my life where I’d like to take that kind of job. I do know Kennewick’s past and how they have struggled. I’m ready for the challenge — for the long haul. I’m extremely honored to have been selected to coach this team.”
Sonderland also is hoping a teaching job opens at Kennewick High, or in the Kennewick School District. She has a degree in biology, a minor in math and a masters in education.
“The jobs are starting to open up, and I’d like to be on campus,” she said.
At River View, Sonderland was a three-sport standout, playing volleyball, basketball and softball.
She was inducted into the River View Hall of Fame in 2013, and is the only athlete in school history to be named all-state in two sports — volleyball (first team 2004-05) and softball (first team 2006). She led the volleyball team to state berths in 2004-05, and the softball team to a state appearance in 2006.
A 6-foot middle, Sonderland was named the SCAC East MVP as a junior and senior. She chose to play volleyball at CCS, and had a stellar career there, as well.
She was a first-team East Region selection in 2006-07 and was a second-team NWAC tournament selection in 2006.
When she was through playing, Sonderland continued her education and joined Jenni Hull’s staff at CCS, where she spent another eight seasons with the Sasquatch.
She was the second assistant for five years, and the first assistant coach the past three seasons.
“I played for Jennie — to be able to play for her and coach with her has been great,” Sonderland said.
Sonderland will have one last go-round at CCS this summer.
“We are working on bringing Kennewick up for a team camp in July,” Sonderland said. “We still start with that and do the Southridge camp this summer.”
Sonderland also is heavily invested in club volleyball, having spent several years with the Splash U-16 team in Spokane. She has no plans on stepping back from teaching the game.
“I’ve already got club directors calling and wanting me to coach with them,” she said.