CHESAPEAKE, Ohio - New Chesapeake High School volleyball coach Kylie Perdue knows how to apply every-day situations to help players understand what she's coaching.
"When a girl is hitting the ball, some have to be reminded not just to hit but to jump and swing their arm," Perdue said. "To help them remember to jump, I tell them it's like putting on a pair of jeans that are super tight. Jump like that."
The light-hearted instruction makes Perdue's point as she takes over the Panthers after one year as an assistant to Rebecca Cremeans, who left to become head coach at Cabell Midland High School.
"I'm super excited," Perdue, 25, said. "Honestly, I think we can be a great team. The way the girls play in practice, if they play like that in games, we could be unstoppable. If they play like that, we shouldn't lose a game. If not, we can lose a lot of them."
Perdue knows about winning. She was a standout of Spring Valley High School's state champions in 2009 and 2011. From there, she played one season at Concord University before transferring to Marshall and obtaining a degree in social work, which she puts to use in the Cabell County School system.
Perdue began her volleyball career as a player with Ceredo-Kenova Middle School. Her coach was Cremeans, whom she said along with former Spring Valley coaches Joy Bailey and Taylor Strickland, was her biggest influence on the court.
"I remember what Becca, Joy and Taylor taught me," said Perdue, who has coached at C-K and with club teams. "They taught me so much and I try to pass that on to the girls I coach."
When Cremeans resigned, she said she hoped Perdue would replace her.
"She's good and she's earned it," Cremeans said of Perdue. "For me to have coached her is rewarding. She has gone from being this kid in middle school afraid to hit the ball to a college player. It's been fun to watch her blossom."
As does Cremeans, Perdue stresses off-court lessons to her players.
"My job is to help them with more than just volleyball," Perdue said. "That's one thing Becca taught me. I'll know I've succeeded if they're inviting me to their wedding or baby showers and things like that."
Renee Davis is Perdue's assistant coach. Her daughter, Karli, starred last season for the Panthers and now plays at West Virginia State University.
"It's hard to lose Karli, but great to have Renee," said Perdue, who enjoys photography, reading and her dogs. "The Davis family, everyone knows who they are. They're the heart of Chesapeake."
The Panthers begin their season at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Symmes Valley.