The Millsap Lady Bulldog volleyball team will have a familiar face leading the charge this fall after Coach Kylie Serrato, who previously headed the district’s developmental program, was recently promoted to head volleyball coach.
Serrato, who posted a 23-5 record with the abovementioned developmental program while also working as an assistant with the school’s varsity squad, said she is grateful for Millsap ISD’s faith in her to tackle this new challenge,
“I’ve been with Millsap for three years now,” Serrato said.
“I started out as a junior high coach, then I got promoted to a varsity assistant.
“The fact that I’m gonna continue to be a part of this program and get to lead it has been really exciting.”
Millsap ISD Athletic Director Jake Johnson said Serrato’s body of work with the school district made her a clear and excellent choice for the job.
“I’ve been fortunate, she’s been here with us for the past three years being in charge of our developmental program, and she has done a tremendous job with that,” Johnson said.
“She’s done a great job, and not just speaking on wins and losses, but watching how she interacts with her athletes. She has the ability, and I think it’s a gift, to push kids and get them to respond and still be able to build a relationship with them at the same time. I think she’s going to do a fantastic job.”
Serrato similarly expressed the importance of developing and maintaining trust and strong relationships with Millsap’s players for success.
“I’ve always heard athletes won’t know how much you care unless you show them how much you care, and they’re not really going to do what you want them to unless they know that you’re willing to put your relationship with them first,” Serrato said.
“So the relationship part of it is first for me. That’s always been the way I’ve dealt with the kids, and I try to maintain a positive relationship with them and try to be that role model they need.”
Serrato added that already being a part of the Millsap community stands to be a major positive in that regard.
“I think being familiar with the girls already is going to be a huge benefit for me,” Serrato said.
“Understanding how the girls work, their chemistry, you’re going to have new faces every year, but they know me, and I think that’s going to help a lot. The parents know me, the community knows me, so they know how I work already, and I think that does kind of give me an advantage.
“But I’m just extremely blessed that they have offered me this position and given me the opportunity to be a part of this program in a bigger leadership role than I was previously.”
Johnson echoed Serrato’s statements, saying the former’s ability to push the Lady Bulldogs to give their all on the court while still maintaining relationships built on mutual respect and trust is essential.
“Her players respond to her very well,” Johnson said.
“She’s driven and demanding, but at the same time she has the respect of her athletes and she respects her athletes.
“She’s able to have that balance, walk that line. You see it in how she interacts with the girls. She can get on them hard, but they always respond to her, and that’s because of how she works getting to know them and building a relationship with them.”
That familiarity, coupled with a strong returning core of players from the Lady Bulldogs’ 2019 squad stand to help make the team’s upcoming campaign one to remember, Serrato said.
“I’m very excited,” Serrato said.
“I think getting a new district this year, it’s gonna help us a lot. I think that we have a very strong group of seniors that are going to be leading this group, and we have a lot of other good players who will be returning as well.
“I think they’re going to keep building, Courtney [Hammett] did a fantastic job running the program, and I learned so much from her. So everything she taught me has been super beneficial to not only me but the girls.
“With everything they have learned over the past three years, this season is going to be special and I can’t wait to get started.”