Greetings Parents and Players,
The summer of ‘17 has been epic! Hope you’ve all been comfortable during the heat spell! As to Volleyball… The information in this letter should provide the answers to possible questions about upcoming events and the season schedule. In case you haven’t heard, our volleyball season begins on Monday, August 21st!
First, some newsworthy items…
CAMP UPDATE. Bear Camp 2017 was actually O.C. Camp and went really well! We had a large group of combined Oly and Capital campers. It was great to have the Bears and Cougs pushing one another. We had another “all-star” coaching staff of former Bears who did an exceptional job.
Following these three days, we held two mornings of VOLLEYKIDZ, for 2nd through 5th graders. Although a smaller than normal group, it was a rewarding time for the high school players who coached and the campers!
We also had sixteen Bears attend the UW Team Camp, July 22nd – 24th. The Bears represented well as they learned, improvement, finished strong and made a great “final impression.”
“BEARS IN THE BIGS” GRAD UPDATE: After (six) former Bear players graduated or chose to move on from volleyball, the current ranks of college players from the Olympia Program stands at three. The collegiate career of Michaela Berendt (Oly ’13) came to a close with her graduation from Villanova. We’re hoping to see Michaela at some early season practices, prior to her return to D.C. Christie Colasurdo (’12) completed her career at Western Oregon, after finishing her red-shirt senior season. Kayla Thaller (’14) is choosing to focus on school, ending her career at the University of Puget Sound. Jona Spiller (’15) decided to concentrate on track (javelin) for her junior year at St. Martins. Hannah Adams (’15) is giving her body a break from UW crew. 2016 grads Kiley Schwartz and Maddy Reeves have opted to bring to a close their days as players for SPSCC. For those still playing…Lydia Soto (’16) is continuing her hard work in preparation for her second year as a SPSCC Clipper, in year-two for their program. Hannah St. Jean will return to Franklin Pierce University, in New Hampshire, for her senior year, as team captain and their first-ever player to earn a full-ride scholarship! Finally, 2017 grad, Lauren Wilson, will soon report for her first year at PLU! Good Job AND Good Luck, Bears! Look for more Olympia Volleyball news/updates year-round and follow our college volleyball players (links) on the bottom left side of our website footer. Follow (like) us on Facebook and Twitter, too!
THE COACHING STAFF: It is GREAT to begin a season with our staff complete and ready to roll! Changes include…Christie (Murphy) Oldright’s decision, last November, to coach club when her teaching schedule prevented her regular/timely attendance at our varsity practices. We will miss her positive impact/presence and appreciate the influence she had on our players this last club season. We will also miss Julie McDougall after a year of filling the void at the C Team position. We are happy to welcome Nyra Gallardo (Coach G.) to the program as our C team coach. She comes to us from Hudson Bay, in Vancouver, WA, where she was the head coach for 4 years. What’s the same…we’re happy to say, Tiana McIntosh will continue to volunteer with the varsity! And, we’re psyched that JV Coach Leah Beattie, will return, following the birth of baby KREW, in June!!
THE FOURTH TEAM…is still to be confirmed. However, we are hoping to send an email within a week to share the plan. Ideally, we’ll find funding sources which allow us to pay a coach and officials to MAKE THIS HAPPEN. We have the facility, uniforms and a willing coach. We’re currently working on more matches. Be aware, we’ll likely need to rely on parents for transportation to local matches. Fingers crossed!
PREPARING FOR THE SEASON
FOR DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS AND INFORMATION REGARDING ELEGIBILITY CLEARANCE and links to possible downloadable forms: http://olympia.osd.wednet.edu/sports/sports_clearance__forms
Clearance days and times are as follows:
August 14-18, from 9-11:30am & noon to 3:00pm.
Please DO NOT wait to clear until Monday, August 21st. Failing to clear by the 18th could mean missing 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/parents – please take time to read and understand your commitment to the athletic code. Olympia Volleyball takes this commitment very seriously!
SUMMER 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 you’ve joined the ranks of players consistently meeting (M-W-F, 8:30am) in the weight room to prepare for the season. Our program involves warm-up, speed/agility/quickness, lifting, plus – core work and conditioning. It usually takes about 90-ish 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 21st. 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. Attending tryouts in good shape means you’re focusing on the proper technique and game situations, not simply surviving the physical demands of tryouts. See the last page for tryout days and times.
PLAYING is the other big way to get ready, unless you’ve been playing a lot and had no break. In which case, you’re encouraged 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 don’t 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 usual, invest your time in volleyball in relationship to your goals. Those with a goal of being a varsity player ought to spend time playing (again, unless you’ve 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 (hoping for 4!): C team, junior varsity or varsity. It is possible there may be more interested players than available spots. We plan to have our final decisions made no later than Wednesday, August 23rd, following the sixth overall practice. We have released candidates prior to this time when we’ve been 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 didn’t 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 don’t order a team shoe, as not all brands fit everyone the same. There aren’t a lot of local vendors carrying volleyball shoes. Tom Turcotte, at Cloud9 Sports, is offering discounts for Adidas, Mizuno, Asics and Under Amour shoes. Plus, the Athletes Corner (in Centralia) carries volleyball shoes. If you shop there, try asking about a team “coupon” deal, for a discount.
PROGRAM 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. We’ll go over the Policies and Expectations, program philosophy and allow for questions during the Volleyball Parent/Player Meeting, on Thursday, August 24th, following the Fall Sports Parent meeting.
IMPORTANT DATES AND TIMES, specifics concerning tryouts and other early season events are listed below and on the next page. 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 25th & August 26th. We will give out detailed information and permission slips on Wednesday, the 23rdrd, after selections. Please be prepared to return money & permission slips by the next day, Thursday, Aug. 24th. Also, NOTE, we will hold practice on the morning of August 25th, 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. We’ll 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, Thursday, August 24th, is the date for the Volleyball Parent/Player Meeting, at 6:30pm, in the auxiliary gym. This will be preceded by the Fall Sports Parent meeting in the commons, at 6pm. Both are required informational meetings. At the VB meeting, we’ll share specifics about the program, answer questions and make staff introductions. We’ll also collect orders/money for away match meals, fan wear, player/team wear and conduct some booster club business. Please plan to have at least one parent/guardian at the meeting. Players will attend the volleyball meeting, as well, following practice. Players will have a short break after practice, so – it would be wise for them to bring a snack/meal, if they can’t make it home and back.
As related to the attached schedule, we hope this is the final version. However, there may be a couple of conflicts yet to resolve. And, we’re hoping to have a 4th team schedule! The goal is to confirm the dates/schedule, below, by August 24th.
Looking forward to seeing you all soon. Meanwhile, enjoy your summer. For questions, please contact me via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
IMPORTANT SEASON DATES
**For the full SPSL schedule and any changes, go to the SPSL website: http://www.spsl.org
Eligibility clearance – August 14-18, 9am – 3pm
Tryout Practice Begins – Tryouts consist of 2 practices per day (afternoon & evening) from August 21-23:
- Monday, August 21st – 3:00-6:00pm & 7:00-9:00pm
- Tuesday, August 22nd – 3:00-5:30pm & 7:00-9:00pm
- Wednesday, August 23rd – 3:00-5:30pm & 7:00-9:00pm
Team Selection – August 23
Fall Sports Parent Meeting & Volleyball Parent/Player Meeting – August 24, 6:00pm
Team Retreat (at Cispus) – August 25 & August 26 (Practice held Friday 8am, before departure)
Summer practice times – 2:45pm to 4:45pm, Varsity until 5:15pm, (Varsity 9/1 TBD, Varsity optional 9/5)
School Starts – September 6 (Practices will be held every day after school, as above)
2107 Volleyball Season Schedule – click here (coming soon)
PDF file of this newsletter – click here