She was hired to coach the Green Wave after two successful seasons at Deltona.
Larissa Maloney still remembers the grind of carving out a career on the professional beach volleyball circuit.
Maloney, an Ormond Beach native, graduated from Seabreeze High School, where she was a standout athlete in both volleyball and basketball, in 2003. She accepted a full scholarship to play volleyball at Lynn University in South Florida.
After graduating, she turned pro.
She traveled the country, bouncing from tour to tour with her playing partner.
For several of those years, she was sponsored. But it was still a wild experience for Maloney.
“You’re living out of your suitcase,” she said. “You’re traveling all the time. Every weekend you’re on airplanes.
“When you’re a pro player, you kind of just couch surf.”
She has since slowed down, choosing to coach instead of play.
“If you’re working with me, it’s 100% or nothing. Every girl on my team, every girl who trains with me, if you give 100%, that means we’re on the same page."
Larissa Maloney, Father Lopez volleyball coach
Maloney has been coaching since her junior year at Lynn, where she coached a club team. She even coached while she was on the pro circuit.
Since moving back to the area, she started the Blue Crush Volleyball Academy in 2012. And in 2017, began her first of two seasons coaching Deltona’s girls volleyball team.
After the resignation of their previous coach, Dawn Moses, Father Lopez Catholic High School announced that it hired Maloney as its next girls volleyball head coach on April 29.
Maloney was the Five Star Conference “Coach of the Year” in 2017 while at Deltona and led the Wolves to their first district in nearly a decade. The Wolves went 2-16 prior to her arrival.
“They weren’t really volleyball players, but I worked with them,” she said. “Through hard work and their dedication, they were able to turn it around.”
However, after two seasons at Deltona, she grew tired of the long commute to the school. She resigned after the 2018 season. Father Lopez wasn’t initially on her radar until Green Wave Athletics Director Scott Drabczyk gave her a call and offered her the job.
Maloney, who will also lead the school’s public relations department, will arrive on the Father Lopez campus taking over a program that has seen its share of success in recent years, qualifying for the state tournament six out of the last seven seasons, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2017.
And although the season is months away, training begins soon. By the third week of June, Maloney and her team will be in the gym at 7 a.m. working out.
“This is what we do. This is how you get better,” she said. “It’s go time. I’m ready to make my legacy here.”