ASU women's volleyball assistant coach takes on a new role

With head coach Sanja Tomasevic going on maternity leave soon, Carlos Moreno will have more responsibility

Throughout the season, assistant coach Carlos Moreno has been preparing to transition into a role entailing more responsibilities. 

Head coach Sanja Tomasevic is pregnant and has been helping Moreno with this transition as she prepares to go on maternity leave.

“We’ve known since the start of the season that Sanja was going to be pregnant,” assistant coach Macey Gardner said. “We’ve kind of been prepared for it for a little bit now and with that, Carlos has been able to step in on multiple occasions whether it be in practice or traveling and kind of be that figure as an authority figure that the girls look up to.”

Gardner said that she has seen Moreno step up in a number of ways. They have been preparing for this transition since the beginning of the season — he is someone that the team trusts.

Moreno has put up an impressive college and professional career – he was a two-time All-American, as well as the 2004 AVCA National Player of the Year. With his numerous successes, he has positively impacted the program with his knowledge of the game.

“He wants the best for this program and will do whatever it takes to do that for them and for us coworkers,” Gardner said. “I think he’s the perfect person to step into this role and kind of help us as the season kind of winds down.”

Tomasevic believes that the team will be well-taken care of once he takes over. She said that while Moreno may be less strict, he has already begun to hold the players to a higher standard.

“I know the kids are gonna be in good hands especially when it comes to the system and the technique we’re teaching and everything because we’re on the same page,” Tomasevic said. “The four of us (coaches), we’re a team … we make all the decisions together, from day one — I haven't made any decisions by myself.”

Tomasevic said that even if she had the chance, she wouldn’t change the way things have panned out.

Although Tomasevic hasn’t taken her maternity leave yet, Moreno traveled with the team this past weekend to Oregon and took on the role of head coach. Looking towards the future, Moreno said the game plans would stay the same.

“It's going to be the same things over and over again, same words with a different accent,” Moreno said. “The girls are used to it, so I don't call that a transition; I call that just Sanja’s time away. I'm still her assistant and she’s been helping not only me but we are all ready to coach these girls because of her leadership, because of her system and her philosophy.”

As for the players, they agree that Tomasevic has done a good job allowing Moreno to have a more significant role during practice.

“She’ll sit more in practice and allow Carlos to take more of a lead whenever things go awry and get a little crazy and chaotic,” senior libero Halle Harker said. “She allows Carlos to step in and voice his own opinion and voice whats going on.”

Teammate and senior middle blocker Oluoma Okaro said that she has seen Moreno step up and become more involved.

“He's holding us more accountable,” Okaro said. “I definitely see him stepping up more from beyond the court ... letting us know what we did right and what we did wrong. He's being more aggressive and taking more charge.”

Following the losses to Oregon and Oregon State over the weekend, Tomasevic plans to return to Wells Fargo to face No. 2 Stanford Friday, Oct. 27 at 8 p.m., followed by a game Sunday, Oct. 29 at 11 a.m. against Cal.


Reach the reporter at klbroder@asu.edu or follow @KellyB1459 on Twitter.

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