News from Coach Creighton – Summer 2016

Greetings Parents and Players,

As usual, the summer has flown! It is just over one week until the start of the 2016 volleyball season! The information in this letter should provide the answers to possible questions about upcoming events and the season schedule. If you havenʼt heard, our volleyball season begins on Monday, August 22nd!

First, some newsworthy items…

CAMP UPDATE: Bear Camp 2016 went really well! We had a big group of campers, especially middle school and they worked hard, played hard and improved. The coaching staff was another “all star” group of former Bears who did an excellent job.

Following these three days, we held two mornings of VOLLEYKIDZ, for 2nd through 5th graders. It was another rewarding time for high school players who coaching the younger kids!

We also had seventeen Bears attend the UW Team Camp, July 15th – 17th. The Bears represented well as they learned and improvement, especially in serving and passing, during three intense days of volleyball.

OLYMPIA VOLLEYBALL GRAD UPDATE: The number of former Bears pursuing volleyball at the collegiate level moves up to eight. The collegiate volleyball career of Chloe Hallum (Oly ʻ12) came to a close after graduating from Vassar. Christie Colasurdo (Oly ʼ12) will return to Western Oregon for her red-shirt senior season, after graduating from WOU this spring. Sheʼll be in town to play at St. Martins, on September 24th! Michaela Berendt (ʼ13) is about to embark on her senior season, at Villanova. Michaela will play at the UW tournament in Seattle…Friday, Sept. 2nd, 7pm vs UW, Saturday, the 3rd vs Idaho at 1pm, and Sunday, Sept. 4th vs Seattle U., at 1pm. 2014 grad Hannah St. Jean will return to Franklin Pierce University, in New Hampshire, for her junior year, while Kayla Thaller (ʼ14) will begin her 3rd season at the University of Puget Sound. Hannah Adams (’15), heads back as a sophomore to the UW crew program and Nicole Bennington (’15) returns for her second season of volleyball at Macalester College. After red-shirting last fall, Jona Spiller (’15) reports to St. Martins, doubling in volleyball and track! Finally, 2016 grads Kiley Schwartz, Maddy Reeves and Lydia Soto have already been hard at work preparing for their first year at SPSCC, in the inaugural season of that program. Congrats and go “BEARS IN THE BIGS!”

Look for more Olympia Volleyball news/updates year-round and follow our college volleyball players using the links in the website footer below. Follow (like) us on Facebook and Twitter, too!

THE COACHING STAFF: While we are still rounding out the paid and volunteer coaching staff positions for the season ahead, we want to recognize the departure of our two paid staff members. Christi Ray (C team ʻ14 & ʻ15) is keeping very busy with an increased workload at her job. I know she will want to keep track of her previous crew, when possible. As most of you have heard, Katie Turcotte is headed to Capital (her alma mater) for a new teaching position and the head volleyball job. We wish her the very best and will greatly miss her positive impact, after nine years! Lauren Herseth is already entrenched as the new assistant coach at St. Martins. Weʼll have to catch some of the Saints matches now that TWO former Bears are there! Christie Murphy is indeed, Christie Oldright, after her wedding in June. She will join us when able, as she transitions to the new N.T. middle school, Salish. We still hope to see former players Rachel Bolt and Tiana McIntosh join us when possible, to assist with practices and matches! And, last but not least, a big welcome to Coach Leah Beattie. Hired this spring, she brings playing experience and coaching experience (both high school and club) to contribute to the growth of our players!!



August 15-19, from 9AM – 4PM

There will be NO clearance on Monday, August 22nd. Failing to clear by the 19th will mean missing at least two tryout sessions. This will be a problem. Those needing a physical should already have an appointment!!

“On the dates listed above, students will first go to the ASB Office to purchase an ASB card, pay the “Pay to Play” fee, as well as “clear” any fines they may have. Students will then go to the Athletic Office where their clearance packet will be reviewed and collected. PLEASE make sure all forms and signatures are complete, insurance information is clearly provided, and physical exam documentation is up to date. Previous semester grade checks will be conducted. Those with a failing grade from their previous semester will be placed on academic probation and will be ineligible for the first 5 weeks of the season.”

***Players – please take time to read and understand your commitment to the athletic code. Olympia Volleyball takes this commitment very seriously!

Workout_IMG_9493SUMMER is a time for many of you to get reacquainted with volleyball. Others, hopefully, are taking time off after a busy club season and several camp commitments. Regardless, I hope youʼve joined the ranks of players consistently meeting (M-W-F, 8:30am) in the weight room in preparation for the season. Our program involves warm-up, agility, plyometrics, lifting and TRX, plus – core/ab work. It usually takes about 90-plus minutes. As per WIAA rules, we are not allowed to train potential “Bears” in volleyball skills between August 1st and the start of turnout, on the 22nd. With that in mind…

STRENGTH TRAINING should be a focus of preparation, especially for those with aspirations of playing at the Varsity level. The benefits of strength, improved jump, injury prevention, increased confidence, and team bonding are huge. Coming to tryouts in good shape means youʼre able to focus on the proper technique and game situations, not simply surviving the physical demands of tryouts. See the last page for days and times.

PLAYING is the other big way to get ready, unless youʼve been playing a lot and had no break In which case, I encourage to you to take time off. For those needing to get back at it…find a friend, get your hands on the ball and tune up your skills. You donʼt need sixes to play. You can work on ball control with pepper or play one-on- one with a makeshift net and a smaller court size. Even in one-on-one, use all three contacts to return the ball. This is great for working on your off-speed shots and reading your opponent. Be creative in doing one-person drills to improve your skills. You can always play 2 on 2, or more, if you have enough people.

As always, invest your time in volleyball in relationship to your goals. Those with a goal of being a varsity player should spend time playing (again, unless youʼve been encouraged to take time off) and strength training with your teammates, following our specific program. If your goal is to simply make a team, spend time accordingly. Those of you needing time off from the game should still be in our weight room with the team.

TRYOUTS: SEE TIMES BELOW. Players have the opportunity to make one of three teams: C team, junior varsity or varsity. It is possible there may be more interested players than available spots.

We hope to have our final decisions made no later than Wednesday, August 24th, following the sixth overall practice. We have released candidates prior to this time when sure about our decision. Students are then able to pursue the possibility of another fall sport, like swimming or cross-country. The significance of being involved in a sport or activity, especially when students enter as freshman, is critical. So, regardless of any concern you may have about tryouts, we encourage students to pursue their goals. Remember, “In the end, we only regret the chances we didnʼt take.”

EQUIPMENT: I recommend waiting until after team selections to purchase new shoes. Tryouts are not the time to break in a new pair. We donʼt order a team shoe, as not all brands fit everyone the same. There arenʼt a lot of local vendors carrying volleyball shoes. However, the Athleteʼs Corner (in Centralia) carries volleyball shoes. If you shop there, try asking about a team “coupon” deal, for a discount.

Group_Thompson_Support_IMG_9410PROGRAM EXPECTATIONS: We want all candidates and parents to be fully aware of the Policies and Expectations of the Olympia Volleyball Program. This document will be distributed at the first tryout. We ask this be read, signed and returned, ASAP. Weʼll go over the Policies and Expectations, the program philosophy and allow for questions during the Volleyball Parent/Player Meeting, tentatively set for Tuesday, August 30th.

IMPORTANT DATES AND TIMES: Specifics concerning tryouts and many other early season events are listed below. For example, please note the times for tryouts. All players should attend both practices each day, Monday through Wednesday during tryouts, unless specified otherwise.

Our retreat is August 26th and August 27th. We will give out detailed information and permission slips on Wednesday, the 24th, after selections. Please be prepared to return money & permission slips by the next day, Thursday, August 25th. Also, NOTE, we will hold practice on the morning of August 26th, prior to departure.

The cost of the Retreat will be approximately $40.00 per player. This covers meals, lodging and the challenge course fee. Also, a parent may contact you asking for volunteer drivers. Weʼll be traveling to Cispus Environmental Center, near Randle. The retreat is a very significant time to set the tone for the season and for player bonding. All selected players are required to attend. We can make arrangements if cost is a concern.

As mentioned above, Tuesday, August 30th, is the tentative date for the Volleyball Parent/Player Meeting, at 6:00pm, in the auxiliary gym. This is a required informational meeting. We plan to share specifics about the volleyball program, answer questions and make staff introductions. Weʼll also collect orders/money for away match meals, fan wear, and conduct some booster club business. Please plan to have at least one parent /guardian at the meeting. Players will attend the meeting, as well, following practice. Players will have a short break after practice, so – it would be wise for them to bring a snack!

As related to the attached schedule, we hope this is the final version. However, there may be a couple of conflicts yet to be resolved. The goal is to confirm the schedule by August 24th.

Looking forward to seeing you all in a couple weeks. Meanwhile, enjoy your summer. For questions, please contact me via e-mail. -Coach Creighton

From The Olympia Volleyball Booster Club

At the Volleyball Parent/Player meeting, tentatively set for August 30th, the booster club will conduct some business. Parents will have the chance to join the booster club, volunteer for odd jobs throughout the season and purchase Bear Wear Fan Apparel. Player “spirit pack” information will be separate. So, please mark your calendars and come ready to the meeting on August 30th, with calendars and check books in hand! Click here to view the volunteer opportunities.

For your information, our Olympia Volleyball Booster Club officers for the 2016 season are: President: Heather Schwartz Treasurer: Steve Drutz


Eligibility clearance – August 15-19, 9am-4pm

Tryout Practice Begins – Tryouts consist of 2 practices per day (afternoon & evening) from August 22-24:

  • Monday, August 22nd – 3:00-6:00pm & 7:00-9:00pm
  • Tuesday, August 23rd – 3:00-5:30pm & 7:00-9:00pm
  • Wednesday, August 24th – 3:00-5:30pm & 7:00-9:00pm

Team Selection – August 24

Team Practice Times  – 2:45pm to 4:45pm, Varsity until 5:15, (Varsity 9/2 – AM, Varsity optional Sept. 5)

Team Retreat (at Cispus) – August 26 & August 27 (Practice held Friday 8am, before departure)

Volleyball Parent/Player meeting – August 30 at 6:00pm (Tentative) View Booster Club information and volunteer opportunities

School Starts – September 7 (Practices will be held every day after school once classes begin. 2:45pm to 4:45pm, Varsity until 5:15)

2106 Season Game Schedule**click here

**For the full SPSL schedule and any changes, go to the SPSL website:

SPSCC Launches New Volleyball Program

Three of our OHS volleyball seniors, Kylie Schwartz, Lydia Soto and Maddy Reeves, have agreed to play for South Puget Sound Community College next fall on the school’s first-ever volleyball team! Congrats to the future Clippers! Watch for news of a signing ceremony, soon.

The new Clipper squad will make its debut August 27th and 28th at the NWAC Volleyball Showcase, co-hosted by Lane Community College and Eugene (Oregon) Cascades and Coast Sports Commission. The team makes its home debut on September 7th against Clark College.

Read more:
SPSCC Athletics to launch volleyball program
Miller Named First SPSCC Volleyball Coach

Player Spotlight – Lisa Chulich

LC-Nike-Catalog-CoversFormer Olympia Volleyball player, Lisa Chulich, a 2010 graduate, made a point to stop by to speak with the players in October. Lisa worked VERY HARD (against many odds) during high school to earn an academic scholarship to the University of Portland. Although a volleyball scholarship was an option, Lisa continued to play outdoor/sand volleyball, train/compete in rock climbing, and hold a job until her college graduation. She ultimately plans to earn an advanced degree. LC_Calendar_January

Right now, Lisa has found a career as a fitness model, which enables her to travel and continue to train, rock climb and compete at an ELITE/world class level. Attached are a few pictures. The first photo shows Lisa as the female cover for the Nike Volleyball and Nike Training catalogs. The second photo is Lisa on the “January-page” of the 2016 Women of Climbing calendar. Finally, the last photo is the Nike website volleyball page. Pretty cool…Lisa is one of the most disciplined and hardest working people I know.
– Coach Creighton