Cox replacing Stern as coach of Lowcountry Volleyball Club

Katie Cox knows her predecessor's record and doesn't plan to change much after taking over as director and head coach of Lowcountry Volleyball Club.

Al Stern, who founded the club in 1996, announced last week he would be stepping aside. Stern, also the Bluffton High School volleyball coach, said he wanted a break from all the travel and, at age 76, wanted fewer commitments.

Stern will keep his post with the Bobcats, as well as his positions as Lowcountry Volleyball board member and treasurer.

Cox coached the club's 17s team this past season after moving to Bluffton from Beaufort. She coached four years at Battery Creek and in 2007 founded the Beaufort Volleyball Club.

Cox said she wants the club to continue its record of sending players to college.

"Basically, I'm going to carry on what Al has done the previous 15 years," she said.

Position-specific practices are among the few changes Cox has planned. She said several new coaches have joined the program during the past year and that she hoped they would return.

Stern said he will continue coaching at Bluffton, where Cox teaches biology and is a volleyball assistant.

The Lowcountry Volleyball Club has won four Palmetto State Volleyball Championships and sent teams to four Junior National Championships and six AAU National Championships, according to a release from Stern. More than 30 of the club's players have gone on to play volleyball at the college level, he said.

The club season begins with tryouts in November. In March, the club began a tournament schedule that took them all over the East Coast, from Florida to Maryland, this past season.

"I think that was a big factor with (Stern)," Cox said. "The club season is a lot longer, and it's a lot more travel and demanding."