Volleyball has had a slow start in Sussex County, but Indian River High School has moved the sport in the right direction by hosting its very first camp from Aug. 8-12.
The camp is designed to develop individual volleyball skills, as well as improve the team dynamic. The camp philosophy is that the elementary players are taught the same as the national teams and the only difference is the power of the game.
Indian River Head Volleyball Coach Jesse Dodd extended a hand to a pair of former players, Carol Munger of Rochester, N.Y. and Barbera Letourneau of Brazil.
Munger played volleyball in college and went on to play for a French pro team in Europe. Letourneau currently lives in Baltimore and is an assistant coach at Frostburg University in Western Maryland.
Needless to say, the participant’s at the volleyball camp benefited from, “a lot of experience” according to Dodd.
Letourneau and Munger noted that the hardest thing is to break the girls of bad habits.
“The girl’s (veterans) have a bad habit of reverting to their old ways of passing and hitting once we put the two together,” said Letourneau. “Motor skills are hard to break, but the girls need to be open for changes in their game.”
While some of the older girls struggled adapting to the new skills taught, the younger one’s seemed to flourish.
“A father brought his sixth-grade daughter in the morning session to introduce her to the sport and she did pretty well in my opinion,” said Letourneau.
“It helps when you are able to start a sport at a young age,” said Munger. “It’s kind of lame that there isn’t a youth volleyball program in place (Sussex County). They have Little League and River Soccer, but these girls aren’t exposed to the sport until ninth grade.”
“That’s why the west coast is so far ahead of the east coast,” continued Munger.
Many of the girls attending the camp are working together in the camp but in a couple weeks they will be in direct competition for the Southern Henlopen Conference title.
The camp has a total of 26 participants, and of those many of them hail from Sussex Central, Cape Henlopen and Indian River.
“This is an extra step before the season begins,” said Indian River senior Shauna Jacobs. “It gets our muscles hurting before the season starts.”
“It’s a sore process, but it’s fun, too,” added Indian River junior Hilary Hawkins. “It’s fun to meet girls from other schools, and when we’re out of the floor it’s just six girls working together.”