Nancy Somera

Nancy Somera

Player Profile

Head Coach (Sixth Year)

Alma Mater:
Southern California, 1989

Nancy Somera is heading into her fifth year as head coach of Oregon State volleyball, and she is on her way to making the Beavers a force at the national level.

In 2001, just Somera's third as a head coach, she did what no other OSU coach had been able to do in 18 years - guide the Beavers to the NCAA Tournament. The Beavers finished the year with a 17-12 record, good for OSU's first winning season since 1996. It also earned the Beavers a trip to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1983. With five seniors starters returning in 2002, the Beavers had a high hopes for a repeat trip to postseason play, but injuries took their toll en route to an 8-20 season.

Since her arrival in Corvallis in March, 1999, Somera has implemented a solid system that has led to OSU's recent success. She and her staff spent their first year with the program introducing the new OSU system and refining ball handling skills. While the team finished the 1999 season with a record of 8-18 overall and 2-16 in the Pacific-10, Somera successfully accomplished her goal of getting the team to adapt to the new system. A year later, the team doubled its win total by finishing the season with 16 wins. OSU won six matches in Pac-10 play that season, including the team's first ever win over UCLA.

After four years as a head coach, Somera has posted a record of 49-66. Her record against Pacific-10 teams - easily the best volleyball conference in the country - stands at 22-50.

The Beavers finished the 2001 Pac-10 campaign with a 10-8 record, marking only the second time in program history the team registered double-figure wins in Pac-10 play. The fifth-place league finish was the second best in school history.

While Somera has been at Oregon State for less than five years, she has been involved in Pac-10 volleyball for more than 15 years. She served as an assistant coach at the University of Southern California from 1991 until moving to Corvallis, and she also played collegiately at USC.

Her experience in the Pacific-10 as a coach and a player has taught her what it takes to win at this level, and she has a clear vision of how to make that happen at OSU. Simply stated, "You need physical talent and a system strong enough to consistently perform at a high level. Talent alone won't get the job done."

As an assistant at USC, Somera helped the Women of Troy earn eight consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament, seven of which were to the round of Sweet 16. USC also finished no lower than fourth place in the Pacific-10 standings during her time on the coaching staff.

Somera contributed in developing eight All-Americans at USC, four of which were outside hitters, the position she was responsible for training.

She has continued her trend of developing strong outside hitters, as OSU outside hitter Gina Schmidt was named a first team All-Pacific-10 selection in 2000, becoming just the fourth Beaver player to earn a spot on that team. Schmidt earned recognition from the league again in 2001, and three current Beavers - including two other outside hitters - have been honored by the Pac-10 during Somera's tenure at OSU.

Somera had been USC's top assistant since 1993 before accepting the OSU position. When she wasn't on the sidelines coaching, she was tackling her responsibilities of managing all of the program's administrative duties and overseeing the daily operations of the volleyball office. Exceptional organizational skills helped her maintain a smooth running program for a head coach who also served as the senior women's administrator.

She was the director of the USC Girls' Volleyball Camp from 1993-96, and she also served as the director of the Clark Community Center Volleyball Clinics from 1994-96. She has worked at various volleyball camps throughout the country.

In 1995, Somera coached the 16-under team at the Santa Monica Beach Club, and she was coach of the Cal Juniors 18-under team in 1991.

Prior to joining the USC coaching staff, Somera served as assistant volleyball coach at Golden West College for the 1990 season, when Golden West won the state championship title.

Formerly Nancy Hillman, Somera played collegiate volleyball at USC from 1985-88. She was a four-year starter and helped lead USC to the final four as a freshman in 1985. A three-year team captain and four-year Scholar Athlete, Somera was named to the All-Pacific-10 Team in 1987 and 1988. She still holds the school record for career service aces (170) and also holds the single-season ace record (59 in 1988). She ranks in the top 10 for career kills and digs as well.

Somera earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and broadcasting from Southern California in 1989, and she earned a master's degree in education in 1994, also at USC.

She is married to her assistant coach, Ben Somera. They have a 6-year-old son, Sam, and a daughter, Maile, who will turn 3 in December.

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