When the 13-5 CDO girls’ volleyball team lost to Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor in a Nov. 12 playoff game, it meant more than the end of another winning season.
It meant the end of an era, as boys and girls head coach Melva Lundy stepped down after 20 years at the helm of Dorado volleyball.
“Basically my program is in really good shape,” said Lundy of the decision’s timing. “Both the freshman and JV teams went 17-1, and the varsity team had six sophomores on it, so I’ll be leaving the new coach a lot of good athletes.”
Lundy’s CDO teams had 15 combined regional titles, and two boys’ state championships.
She could reminisce, but prefers to speak instead about her 2008 team, which she said, “is a special one.”
“(Seniors) Sarah Batterton and Stephanie Ziegler really made a big difference,” said Lundy. “They led the team in every statistic and were an inspiration to the younger kids.”
This team added to nearly two decades’ worth of CDO coaching memories.
“The two biggest highlights (of this season) were when we beat Salpointe in the Goldwater tournament, and coming back from being down two games to Cienega,” she said.
Although Lundy’s focus is on this season, she still remembers her first impression of Arizona volleyball from her first match in 1989.
“I had come from the Midwest, where the whole town went to games,” she recalled. “I was amazed that, here, there were not that many people at volleyball games.”
As Lundy and the Dorados began to win, things changed.
“As years went by, things got more exciting, and then there were more fans at the games,” Lundy said. Those fans saw some talented athletes, as four boys and 11 girls coached by Lundy at CDO have gone on to play NCAA Division 1 college volleyball.
“A smile, giving the kids positive confidence and getting them to believe in themselves,” are some of the coaching techniques Lundy believes have enabled her players to be successful.
Instilling good teamwork is another.
“Volleyball is the team-iest team sport you can play,” said Lundy. “It is imperative that (the players) can count on each other.”
It may be only natural that, during her long career, Lundy herself has come to count on the players as well.
“I will miss different athletes,” she said. “You spend so much time with them they become part of the family.”
Lundy says her family of CDO athletes has made an impression on her that will not be forgotten.
“I will always be a Dorado fan,” she said. “Of course.”