For Megan Flick, some things are a little hard to change.
Her wardrobe has a lot of blue, and wearing red feels odd.
“I make jokes all the time that when I wear red shirts, it kind of itches a little bit,” she said.
A little over a month ago, Flick, a BEA graduate, was a member of the Lady Eagles’ coaching staff. But with Bellefonte still seeking a girls’ volleyball coach, she jumped at the chance and became the Lady Red Raiders’ head coach.
Tuesday night during pregame player introductions, when a Bald Eagle Area player trotted over to shake Flick’s hand, she responded with “Go get ’em.”
“Then I realized,” she said, “them is me.”
Tuesday night, she walked into her old gym leading the rival team. She got a huge hug after the match from BEA coach Larry Campbell, but that was after the Lady Eagles flexed their muscles with a 25-12, 25-8, 25-14 victory.
BEA followed the lead of Jordan Anderson’s 13 kills and Grace Hugar’s seven kills, four aces and seven digs to the win. Madison Rockey added 35 assists, two aces and two blocks, and Alyson Onder had nine digs.
BEA has been among the top programs in District 6, while Bellefonte has been trying to climb back up to that level. With the Red Raiders still seeking a new coach in the middle of summer, and preseason practices just weeks away, Campbell encouraged Flick to apply.
“They’re getting a kid who’s a good role model — that’s the big thing,” Campbell said. “She’s a person that players can look up to, to say, ‘I aspire to do the things she’s done and be the person she’s become.’”
Flick was a standout player for the Lady Eagles and went on to play at Lock Haven. Bellefonte team members, fearing a last-minute hire might mean a coach who didn’t know the game well, instead were overjoyed with the hire.
She knows her program doesn’t have the depth or talent her team faced Tuesday, but she wants her players to focus on other things right now.
“Today wasn’t the best demonstration of what we’ve been working on,” Flick said. “The things we can control are our ourselves, our attitude and how we respond.”
She brings a little bit of her old life to every match, still wearing her BEA senior class ring. She said it reminds her to give to the Lady Raiders what the Lady Eagle coaches gave her.
“It’s a humbling reminder to be the best coach I can be,” she said.
Tuesday, she had to face a team she helped tutor.
“Last year she was always telling me to be the team leader on our side,” Hugar said. “Now she’s on the other side. But she’s taught me a lot. I think it’s nice for her to know I’ve been doing what she’s been telling me to do.”
Even with the one-sided outcome, the Lady Eagles could see a change on the other side of the net.
“I thought it wasn’t a bad game,” Anderson said. “Usually it’s not as competitive. I thought they got a lot better this year, probably with Megan as their coach.”
Anderson had plenty of highlights Tuesday with her 13 kills out of the middle, including seven in the first set alone.
Hugar also had a big first set with four kills, plus all four of her aces during a seven-point run on her serve that turned a 6-5 deficit into a 12-6 lead. The run of aces helped settle her nerves on the court.
“I get more confident,” Hugar said. “I can get more swings in and more aces.”
While Bellefonte struggled, the team did get five kills from Anna Rutecki, four kills from Kaylee Dreese and a pair of blocks from Drew Nixdorf.
With the late arrival, Flick has been scrambling. She had to fill her staff, and found out late the PIAA changed the brand of the official ball used for matches, so those had to be ordered. She was appreciative of all the help she got from the former rival school to get her started, and has been enjoying the challenge.
“It’s tough being on the other side,” Flick said. “But it’s enjoyable. I like what I do.”