New women’s volleyball head coach dives into the new season

Kat+Niksto%2C+the+new+SBCC+Women%27s+Volleyball+coach+smiles+in+the+Sports+Pavilion+just+after+her+team+took+down+College+of+the+Canyons+in+4+sets+on+Wednesday%2C+Sept.+11+2019%2C+at+City+College+in+Santa+Barbara%2C+Calif.++This+is+the+first+win+of+the+season+for+the+Vaqueros%2C+bringing+their+record+to+1-5.
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New women’s volleyball head coach dives into the new season

Kat Niksto, the new SBCC Women's Volleyball coach smiles in the Sports Pavilion just after her team took down College of the Canyons in 4 sets on Wednesday, Sept. 11 2019, at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif.  This is the first win of the season for the Vaqueros, bringing their record to 1-5.

Kat Niksto, the new SBCC Women's Volleyball coach smiles in the Sports Pavilion just after her team took down College of the Canyons in 4 sets on Wednesday, Sept. 11 2019, at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. This is the first win of the season for the Vaqueros, bringing their record to 1-5.

Kevin Ham

Kat Niksto, the new SBCC Women's Volleyball coach smiles in the Sports Pavilion just after her team took down College of the Canyons in 4 sets on Wednesday, Sept. 11 2019, at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. This is the first win of the season for the Vaqueros, bringing their record to 1-5.

Kevin Ham

Kevin Ham

Kat Niksto, the new SBCC Women's Volleyball coach smiles in the Sports Pavilion just after her team took down College of the Canyons in 4 sets on Wednesday, Sept. 11 2019, at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. This is the first win of the season for the Vaqueros, bringing their record to 1-5.

Robert J. Gormish, Staff Writer

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Landing her dream job as City College’s new women’s volleyball head coach, Kat Niksto brings a breath of fresh air to the team with years of experience and love for the sport. 

Niksto, born and raised in Santa Barbara, started off playing volleyball at Dos Pueblos High School, where her love for the sport was born.

“It’s such an honor to be coaching in my hometown,” Niksto said. “I’ve always dreamed about coaching here ever since I was a grad assistant at Temple University.”

Before Niksto started coaching she earned her bachelor’s degrees in psychology and art from Pomona Pizer and a master’s degree in sports and recreation administration from Temple University in Pennsylvania. 

“When I was [at Pizer College] I had a really good relationship with my coaches,” Niksto said. “I just loved volleyball so much and that’s all I really wanted to do.” 

She succeeds longtime coach Ed Grover, who retired last season after 28 years with the team. 

“I hope to bring a new kind of energy, Grover is a fantastic coach and I’ll never be able to replace him,” Niksto said. “I’m not trying to continue a program under his shadow. 

“I want to take the history and tradition and everything he established and step out to do it my own my way and bring City College back to the top of their conference.”

With having mostly new players, Niksto isn’t scared of a fresh start.

“For my first season, I actually don’t mind it because you don’t have players that are comparing situations that happened last year,” Niktso said. 

“Her knowledge and passion for the game are unbelievable,” said outside hitter Lauren Holsted. “She is such a great role model for our team, and always pushes us to be better.”

Niksto’s knowledge and love for the sport are reenergizing the volleyball team. 

“She has a lot of enthusiasm, you can really tell that she has a lot of knowledge of this sport,” said Athletic Director Rocco Constantino. “She creates a really good environment around this team, you can tell she really cares about this team.”

Besides creating memories for a lifetime, Niksto is determined to get the best out of her team.

“I’m very excited to be coaching such a great group of girls, they’re always working hard and doing what they’re told,” Niksto said. “They’re all here and ready to work.”

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