Success isn't a new idea for head volleyball coach Sheera Sirola, a member of the ORU Hall of Fame Class of 2003. After putting together one of the most decorated playing careers in the history of ORU, Sirola begins her 16th season at the helm of her alma mater. She previously served as an assistant coach with the Golden Eagles from 1998-2002 and was a student assistant from 1996-97.
Having been a part of the program for nearly two decades, Sirola has played an integral role through the volleyball team's banner years. ORU has amassed a stellar 493-268 (.648) record during her 24 years as a player and a coach. Sirola helped lead ORU to eight-straight NCAA Tournaments from 1995-2002, and her record as head coach stands at 270-193 (.583).
Since Sirola took over as head coach in 2003, 11 players have landed conference player of the year honors and three went on to be selected to the AVCA All-Region team, including Laura Milos, the program's first player to garner all-region accolades three times in her career (2015-17). Ori Zuzic (2006) and Sara Pope (2013) also earned AVCA All-Region honors for ORU. Under Sirola's guidance, the Golden Eagles have collected all-conference accolades 38 times, including 21 selections to the first team, and had 14 named to the All-Summit League Freshman Team.
Coach Sirola picked up her 250th-career victory in a sweep at Fort Wayne October 15, 2016, extending her program-best win total and has led the Golden Eagles to six-straight appearances in The Summit League Championship, including making the finals in 2017.
Sirola led the Golden Eagles to a 15-14 mark in 2017 earning the program's first postseason bid since 2006 with an appearance in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship after finishing second in The Summit League regular season standings at 11-3. Summit League Player of the Year, Laura Milos, and fellow All-Summit League performer, CeCe Madison, combined to be the best offensive duo in the conference totaling 827 kills.
A milestone year for Sirola came in 2013 as the Golden Eagles went 22-7 with a 14-4 Southland Conference record. Already the program's career victories leader, Sirola became the first ORU head coach to win 200 matches in a five-set victory over Stephen F. Austin October 3, 2013. In her ninth season leading the Golden Eagles, Sirola became the program's career wins leader after a five-set victory over IPFW at home September 29, 2011.
Sirola earned her 100th head coaching victory October 13, 2007, a five-set win over longtime Summit League rival North Dakota State.
In 2006, the Golden Eagles were able to push through and win their first Mid-Con title since 2002. In her fourth season at the helm, Sirola posted her highest win total (26) and second-highest winning percentage (.743) as head coach. She led her squad to its best conference record since 2002 and its third 20-win season in a four-year span. Sirola led her 2006 squad to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002 and was named Mid-Con Coach of the Year.
Despite spending just two years in a Golden Eagle uniform (1994-95), Sirola put her own personal stamp on the program by establishing several season and career records. Known for her lethal jump serve, Sirola set the school's single-season record with 99 service aces in 1994 and led the entire NCAA with 98 aces during the 1995 season. Her career total of 197 service aces still ranks second on ORU's career charts. Sirola also ranks among ORU's career top five in kills per set, hitting percentage, and digs per set.
Sirola also found success on the soccer field while at ORU, playing four games as a defender and goalkeeper in 1995. Sirola stayed at ORU and completed her undergraduate degree in physical education in May 1998. She then became the first volleyball player to be inducted into the ORU Athletics Hall of Fame in February of 2003.