Indian River’s Head Volleyball Coach Jess Dodd has his team going back to the basics and, with that emphasis, the Lady Indians look to rebound from a sub-par 8-11 season and return to respectability in the conference.
“Last year we lost a lot of close games,” said Dodd. “None of our losses were blowouts. If we could just get 2 percent better — 1 percent on offense and 1 percent on defense — we’ll be a better team.”
Dodd’s squad got a good jumpstart on the season when many of them participated in an individual skills camp. The camp stressed basic skills and participants benefited from the instruction by former professional Carol Munger and Frostburg assistant coach Barbara Letourneau.
“Our guest coaches did a great job of breaking down the game and making it simpler for the kids,” said Dodd.
Bump, set and spike seems easy, but there are various wrinkles added to this simple equation.
“We are changing from a three-step to a four-step approach going to the net, which can get complicated,” said Dodd. “It’s definitely a work in progress. I thought they would pick it up sooner last year but some of the younger players are picking it up quickly and it is rubbing off on the other players.”
Dodd’s emphasis on basic skills and winning and losing can best be linked to Indian River’s ability to score while serving.
“We need to win our serves,” said Dodd. “We’re playing the percentages, and if you win more serve receives than the other team then you will score more points. Then we have to keep them from scoring on their serve to win.”
The Indian River volleyball program is only a week deep into practice, and they will face their first action at the new Indian River High School for a play date on Aug. 25.
“We still have a lot of work ahead but we have high expectations,” said Dodd. “It’s still early.”