The Moffat County High School volleyball team aren’t sitting down this week while participating in drills like the one pictured here. The team is putting the skills they have picked up during those drills to use at its team camp Thursday through Saturday at the University of Northern Colorado. More than 150 high school teams will be participating.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

The Moffat County High School volleyball team aren’t sitting down this week while participating in drills like the one pictured here. The team is putting the skills they have picked up during those drills to use at its team camp Thursday through Saturday at the University of Northern Colorado. More than 150 high school teams will be participating.

Putting skills to the test

photo

Moffat County High School incoming senior Jessica Behrman prepares to bump the ball during the MCHS volleyball skills camp July 10. Behrman and the Bulldogs are participating in a team camp at the University of Northern Colorado, a camp Behrman said is ‘more fun.’

Schedule ...

University of Northern Colorado Volleyball Classic Team Camp Schedule

Thursday

Pool play round one began 11 a.m.

Today

Pool play round two begins 8 a.m.

Pool play round three begins 7 p.m.

Saturday

Pool play round three continues 8 a.m.

Divisional playoffs begin 2:30 p.m.

Championship match 6:30 p.m.

(12 matches guaranteed)

Learning the fundamentals and skills is one thing. Putting them into use in a game is another.

That’s what the Moffat County High School volleyball team is attempting to do at a team camp at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.

The camp, which started Thursday and lasts through Saturday, revolves around playing games against other teams, culminating in a tournament.

The team format is in stark contrast to the skills camp the team participated in last week.

That camp, led by Colorado Northwestern Community College volleyball coaches, focused on developing proper touch on passes and playing effective out-of-system vollyeball.

“This camp is more fun. We play a bunch of games rather than do skills,” incoming senior Jessica Behrman said. “I mean, it’s always fun to play games.”

At camp, the Bulldogs volleyball players do not have time to think about the bump or set they are hitting on the run, and they will not have several reps to get it right. Now, they will hope the skills they learned from the last camp’s drills will come through in games involuntarily.

“This camp is just all games. This gives (players) a lot more game-like experience versus just working on the skills repetitively,” head coach Sandy Camilletti said. “We worked a lot at the skills camp on passing, so hopefully we’ll see that improve.”

Camilletti said the camp has over 150 teams (it had 180 from seven states in 2011), separated into three divisions. MCHS will field two teams.

“We’ll be playing against mostly 4A and 3A varsity teams and some 5A junior varsity teams,” Camilletti said. “I’m going to mix it up. We’ll have girls play together for a session, but there will be some movement on the teams between sessions and days.”

Behrman believes playing games against a variety of opponents is a benefit for the team.

“We get to see a bunch of new strategies and learn how to play with higher level teams,” she said. “It makes us all better and gets us ready for our season as we get used to playing with each other.”

Beyond the benefits of putting what they’ve learned into practice, the team camp in Greeley will be good for players to start adjusting to the speed of a real game.

“When you’re playing games, there are things that drills and practice can’t always recreate,” Camilletti said. “This will be real, game-time experience. It will help them get back into the groove working on rotations. They get a little rusty after not playing for awhile.”

Incoming junior Shaye Zimmerman attended the camp last year, and said picking up team play is an important aspect of the summer camp.

“Sometimes you argue with your teammates so you have to learn to support each other and play as a team,” Zimmerman said.

While the consensus among players is the team camp is more fun, Zimmerman recognizes the value of both.

“I like the skills camp because it helps you with things you need, the basics of the game that are important,” she said. “But I like this camp because it helps with game experience and it’s fun.”

Behrman, entering her final season with the Bulldogs, is looking for the MCHS teams to be competitive at UNC. She said that would be a good sign for the season.

“Camp will be a success if we play well together and it’s always great to win,” she said. “We know these teams are a lot bigger, but it would be great to win a couple and see how far we can go.”

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