Jessica Behrman, an incoming senior at Moffat County High School, serves the ball during a drill Tuesday at the MCHS gym. The Volleyball team is taking part in a skills camp led by Colorado Northwestern Community College volleyball coaches.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Jessica Behrman, an incoming senior at Moffat County High School, serves the ball during a drill Tuesday at the MCHS gym. The Volleyball team is taking part in a skills camp led by Colorado Northwestern Community College volleyball coaches.

MCHS volleyball team has 1st summer work at skills camp

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MCHS volleyball skills camps

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Moffat County High School incoming sophomore Lauren Samuelson prepares to bump the ball Tuesday during a volleyball skills camp at MCHS. The camp, led by MCHS graduated April Sanchez, focused on passing and ball control.

Quotable

“(These girls are) actually doing the things we want them to do the way we want them to do it. That’s a coach’s perfect camp. I do this for lots of different age groups in lots of different states, and I like this group.”

—Richard Barker, CNCC head volleyball coach, about working with the MCHS volleyball team at skills camp

Volleyball is known for its violent spikes and dominating blocks, but the fundamentals of passing and ball control are just as important to success on the court.

That’s the message that Colorado Northwestern Community College volleyball coaches were stressing to Moffat County High School players at a volleyball skills camp which began Tuesday and continues today.

“Volleyball is really renowned for hitting it as hard as you can and these great moments, but I think people forget in between all of those amazing attacks there’s really a lot of ball control that’s necessary to set up that attack,” said April Sanchez, CNCC assistant volleyball coach. “So we’re honing in on skills of passing and movement, and they’re doing a great job.”

Sanchez, a 2006 graduate of MCHS, is leading the camp with CNCC head coach Richard Barker, who said they are also trying to teach the team out-of-system play, when a point doesn’t go as planned.

“We’re doing out-of-system offense. The in-system stuff is when everything goes perfect, and coaches can take care of that,” Barker said. “So we’re doing out-of-system offensive things, like emergency skills to place the ball, or attack the ball, do things besides giving a giant free ball over the net.

“We’re trying to give them options other than that.”

The Bulldogs volleyball team is coming off a difficult 5-13 season and will have to replace four seniors, but is moving down to Class 3A in 2012. Barker said he liked a lot of what he saw during day one of the camp.

“These kids are better than I expected. They are surprisingly well skilled,” he said. “They’re actually doing the things we want them to do the way we want them to do it. That’s a coach’s perfect camp. I do this for lots of different age groups in lots of different states, and I like this group.”

This is the first organized MCHS volleyball event for the summer, and it precedes the team’s trip to the University of Northern Colorado for a team camp.

Bulldogs coach Sandy Camilletti reached out to Sanchez to put the skills camp together, feeling it was important for her team to develop individual skills before going to the team camp, which is more fun, she said.

“This camp is really meant more to develop individual skills, the camp at UNC is a team camp where we’ll go and play a bunch of games,” Camilletti said.

Sanchez said she like the way the team responded to learning a side of volleyball that can be less fun.

“We didn’t even touch the volleyballs for the first half hour or so,” she said. “For some kids it’s really hard to come to camp expecting to play volleyball and when they don’t they get a little frustrated. These girls have eaten up whatever we’ve thrown up them. Now they’ll have the tools that you don’t need to be six-foot-four to be successful.”

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