Eastern Mennonite University announced the hiring of Lauren Reznik as interim women's volleyball coach. Reznik not only brings knowledge of volleyball, but also of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. She was an assistant at Bridgewater College in 2010 and recently played four years for Roanoke College.

She immediately takes over EMU's women's volleyball program, replacing Steve Benson, who resigned in July.

Athletic Director Dave King was pleased to find Reznik so close to the start of the upcoming season.

"I feel very fortunate to have found someone like Lauren on such short notice," said King. "Having grown up in the Harrisonburg area and having played and coached in the ODAC, there will be a lot that is familiar which should help in her role as an interim."

"I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to coach the women's volleyball team at EMU," she said. "Being a coach is more than just the X's and O's. It's the opportunity to influence a student-athlete's life and help prepare them for the future."

The Lady Royals lost a couple of key players from last year's squad, but also bring in eight new recruits. Reznik expects that her demeanor will help inspire the young team.

"I have a very positive and get-after-it coaching style," Reznik said. "This team will be pushed to the limit and will do their very best on the court and in the classroom. I hope to impact their lives outside of volleyball as they continue to grow as young adults."

King added that Carrie Bert, an assistant for EMU last fall, remains with the team.

"With Assistant Coach Carrie Bert increasing her time and responsibilities, the combination of Lauren and Carrie should create a smooth transition for both the returning and new players," King said. "Lauren is a dedicated and hard worker and is throwing herself into the role in significant ways already. I'm glad to be able to give a young coach like Lauren an opportunity like this. While there will be a learning curve, she's a quick learner and will not be overwhelmed with the task."

Reznik, who added a master's degree in sport and recreation management from James Madison University in 2010, knows that her familiarity with the conference is a huge advantage for her.

"Having played and coached in the ODAC, I am familiar with the strong competition we will face," she explained. "I'm excited to see the ladies overcome the challenges of being a young team and I am certain that there will be great camaraderie and growth throughout the season."

The search for a permanent head coach will begin at the conclusion of the season.