Familiar Territory: UMFK's Head Coach leading Bengals to success in first year

FORT KENT, Me. (WAGM) - The UMFK Bengals Volleyball team is on a tear. They are 17 and four so far this season and have their sights set on a national title. And they're doing it with a coach who is in her first coaching job...ever.

"All of a sudden I got the call out of nowhere and was like whoa." UMFK head coach Selina Castro said.

Selina Castro played volleyball for the Bengals and graduated from UMFK in 2015, after going back to her home state of California for a couple years, she decided to return to be an assistant coach, then the head coach decided to leave.

"It was a shock, I'm really happy I ended up saying yes."

And her team, which is full of upperclassmen, have welcomed her with open arms.

"I have a really good group of girls, they're all really nice and dedicated to the team," Castro said. "I've had no issues and I'm really looking forward to seeing how the rest of the season goes."

Even Castro said when she played she normally had older coaches, which rings true for some of her players, but as senior Payton Spragling points out, it's been a good thing.

"It's been a different experience for me because I've had a lot of older coaches," Spragling said. "But I feel like she kind of understands a little better and knows how it feels kind of has a little bit more empathy towards or knows what to say and how to talks to us better than someone with a bigger age gap."

Being so shortly removed from playing herself, Castro finds herself wanting to put on a uniform and get out on the court.

"I really do, sometimes I really just want to jump in there," Castro said with a smile. "I get really excited I think being a young coach you get just as excited as the girls on the court."

During her time at UMFK and now as a coach the soccer teams success is widely known and the presence of their banners looms large over the UMFK practice. Castro says the team uses them as a motivator to get a banner of their own up on the wall.

They have a pair of matches at the University of Maine at Presque Isle on Saturday. They won both matches against the Owls when they faced off on October 3rd.