There were plenty of times over the last couple years where Jonathan Alder’s Natalie Regula would get nothing more than a look or a hand signal or a head nod from Pioneers coach Taryn Fuller and the setter knew exactly what her coach wanted her to do or get done.
That’s what happens when you play for a coach who played your same position in high school and in college and considers you her eyes and ears and voice on the floor and you two are thinking the same thoughts.
“Natalie was just a natural leader, she wasn’t necessarily a vocal leader but she lead by example,” Fuller said. “She was like the quarterback to our team and ran it very efficiently. She ran our offense seamlessly.”
“She was lucky enough to have been coached by me the last two years. I use that term lucky loosely because she knows I was tougher on her because I was a former setter. Having that background, having played that position I know what’s expected and know what can happen if things are run the right way and she achieved that and more.”
Regula said having Fuller take over as the head coach prior to her junior season was one of the best things that could ever happen to her.
“It was definitely something I liked,” she said. “She really pushed me to be my best because she knew what that was. She knew what it meant to be a good setter, she pushed me like no other coach could have. There were high expectations to live up to, but it definitely made me a better player.
“I thought she helped me a lot, she would give me signals out on the court, she knew and I knew what those meant and I could relay them to my teammates. There was a lot of pressure, but it made it so much better.”
Regula turned a strong high school career into a scholarship to the University of Findlay. The NCAA Division II school located in Findlay, Ohio turned out to be the perfect landing place for the player who helped Alder get all the way to the OHSAA D-II state championship match.
“Findlay kind of felt like Plain City with a small-town feel,” Regula said. “I went and practiced with them, I liked the way (coach Wick Colchagoff) coached and really liked the team and it just felt like a really good fit for me.”
She chose Findlay over Heidelberg and Mount Union.
“Natalie has all the qualities of a good setter, she’s able to work well with a lot of different people, she’s positive, she’s very optimistic, she knows who’s on and gets the ball to those people,” Fuller said. “She is dynamic and can adjust to other hitters.
“I’m excited to see where she will fit into their offense and how her game will change as she gets accustomed to the college level. She’s great, but she has the potential to be even better.”
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.
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