By Abigail Lockwood
Batavia’s Head Volleyball coach Lori Trippi-Payne surpassed a milestone on Aug. 30, claiming her 500th win over a 27-year journey as head coach for the Batavia Volleyball team. “The kids knew and the parents knew. I didn’t tell them but everybody jumped on me,” Trippi-Payne said after the 25-19, 25-23 semifinal victory over Libertyville.
What could this milestone truly mean to a coach with such history with this sport? “It meant a lot this year because the group of girls we have,” Trippi-Payne said. “It’s a really nice group of girls and they deserved to share this with me. A lot of people didn’t think our team was going to do well losing eight seniors. They came in ready to play this season and it shows. I was very excited to be able to get it this year.”
Trippi-Payne can’t recall her very first win but she can only say that it was in the year of 1987. She has been at Batavia ever since that year and said the wins come much easier now than they did back in the day.
“We have some really dedicated kids here,” said Trippi-Payne.
For senior Katie Ruffer, playing under coach Trippi-Payne has meant a lot.
“She knows so much about the game and she cares so much for our team. For everybody in the program, not just on varsity. She has a lot of enthusiasm and really does love the game,” said Ruffer.
With the 500th win down how many more are to come? “Well, we’ll have to see,” said Trippi-Payne. “I’ve been teaching 27 years so I think that would be pretty difficult to be teaching for 54 or 55 years.”
“It’s been good to get where I’ve gotten and to be honest with you a lot of it comes with how hard these girls have worked in this program. You don’t get to milestones like that without a good solid program and a coaching staff that helps improve our kids and gets them ready for my level. I’m very fortunate to be a part of it. You can go to some other programs where the kids aren’t as dedicated, where the coaches aren’t as good and you never get to that milestone.”