Hello Parents and Players,
Even though this is one of the longer summers off from school in recent years, it has flown by fast! By the time you receive this weʼll be less than 3 weeks from the start of the 2015 volleyball season! The information in this letter should provide the answers to your questions about upcoming events and the season schedule. If you havenʼt heard, our volleyball season begins on Monday, August 24th!
First, some newsworthy items…
CAMP UPDATE: Bear Camp 2015 was a another success! We had a big group of high school campers and they, along with the middle school campers, worked hard, played hard and improved. The coaching staff was an “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. Our high school players had a great time coaching the younger kids!
We also had eighteen Bears attend the UW Team Camp, July 11th – 13th. There was a lot of learning and improvement taking place over three challenging days. And, no one was injured!
OLYMPIA VOLLEYBALL GRAD UPDATE: The number of former Bears pursuing volleyball at the collegiate level stands at six. Graduation saw the exit of one former Oly player from the college ranks. Congrats to Lauren Herseth (ʻ11) who is now part of the “grown-up” world, after earning her teaching certificate from Central Washington! We hope to see Lauren around the OHS gym this fall, helping with volleyball practices. Another member of the 2011 class, Jen Liedes returns to St. Martins to lead the golf program in her senior season of eligibility. Good luck to Chloe Hallum (ʻ12) as she heads back to Vassar to embark on her senior volleyball season. 2012 grad Christie Colasurdo returns to Western Oregon as a red-shirt junior. Sheʼll play at St. Martins, on September 24th! Michaela Berendt (ʼ13) departs soon for Villanova and her junior season. 2014 grad Hannah St. Jean has left for New Hampshire and Franklin Pierce University, for her sophomore year, while Kayla Thaller (ʼ14) will begin her 2nd season at the University of Puget Sound. Hannah Adams (’15) will be joining the University of Washington Crew team in their upcoming season! Finally, Jona Spiller (ʼ15) will report soon to St. Martins doubling as a volleyball and track athlete! Go “BEARS IN THE BIGS!”
SUMMER TRAINING: 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 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 24th.
THE COACHING STAFF: Although she didnʼt coach last season, we wish Coach Hadley (Jensen) well! She left this last weekend for a teaching job (1st grade!) and volleyball position, in North Carolina. We will miss her and know sheʼll “kill it” in the Carolinas! More life-changing news is in the works for volunteer coach Christie Murphy. Many of you know she has a teaching job this year at Chinook M.S. and is engaged to be married next summer. Weʼre hoping Murph will still be available some afternoons for practices and matches. We look forward to seeing her more this season! Weʼre excited that the rest of the staff is intact! Coach Christi Ray will be back as C –Team coach and I will be returning along with Junior Varsity Coach Katie Turcotte. In addition, I am happy to announce former players Rachel Bolt and, possibly, Tiana McIntosh will join Lauren Herseth when possible, to assist with practices and matches!
PREPARING FOR THE SEASON
ELIGIBILITY CLEARANCE needs to be a top priority! PLEASE CHECK THE FOLLOWING OHS WEBPAGE FOR INFORMATION REGARDING ELEGIBILITY CLEARANCE and links to downloadable forms: http://olympia.osd.wednet.edu/sports/sports_clearance__forms
SPORTS ELIGIBILITY CLEARANCE DAYS AND TIMES:
August 17-21 from 9:00am – Noon and 1:00 – 4:00pm
There will be NO clearance on Monday, August 24th. Waiting until the 24th will mean missing tryout sessions. This will be a disadvantage. You should already have scheduled an appointment for your physical!!
Once all the paperwork is filled out and signed, there are still multiple steps to the process: Students will first go to the ASB Office and purchase an ASB card, pay the “Pay to Play” fee, as well as “clear” all fines. Students will then go to the Athletic Office where their clearance packet will be reviewed and collected. PLEASE make sure signatures are complete, insurance information is available, and physical exam documentation is up to date. Previous semester grade checks will be conducted as well.
Also, in order to have eligibility cleared, students must: have passed ALL classes during the previous spring semester and be debt free through the OHS ASB office. ***Players – please take time to read and understand your commitment to the athletic code. Olympia Volleyball takes this commitment very seriously!
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. Click here for days and times.
PLAYING is the other big way to get ready, unless Iʼve encouraged you to take time off. 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 ought to 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: Once again, there may be more interested players than available spots. Players have the opportunity to make one of three teams: C team, junior varsity or varsity. SEE TRYOUT TIMES BELOW.
We hope to have our final decisions made no later than Wednesday, August 26th, 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, “Donʼt let fear keep you from reaching for your goals.”
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. If you choose to buy local, we have coupons at workouts for the Sports Authority. Plus, the Athletes Corner (in Centralia) carries volleyball shoes. Try asking them 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. Weʼll go over the Policies and Expectations, the program philosophy and allow for questions during the Volleyball Parent/Player Meeting, tentatively set for Thursday, August 27th.
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 31st and September 1st. We will give out detailed information and permission slips on Wednesday, the 26th, after selections. Please be prepared to return money and permission slips by Friday, August 28th. Also, be aware, we will hold practice on the morning of August 31st, prior to departure for the retreat.
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, Thursday, August 27th, 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, player and fan wear, and conduct some booster club business. Please plan to have at least one parent or guardian at the meeting. Players will attend the meeting, as well, following practice. Weʼll provide players a short break after practice, so – it would be wise for them to bring a snack!
We have posted our 2015 game schedule, we hope this is the final version. However, there may be a couple of conflicts yet to resolve. The goal is to confirm the schedule by August 26th.
We look forward to seeing you all in a few weeks. Meanwhile, enjoy your summer. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by e-mail. You can download a pdf version of this newsletter here: Oly_VB_2015_Summer_Newsletter
IMPORTANT SEASON DATES
Eligibility clearance – August 17-21, 9-noon, 1-4pm
Tryout Practice Begins – Tryouts consist of 2 practices per day (afternoon & evening) from August 24-26:
- Monday, August 24th – 3:00-6:00pm & 7:00-9:00pm
- Tuesday, August 26th – 3:00-5:30pm & 7:00-9:00pm
- Wednesday, August 27th – 3:00-5:30pm & 7:00-9:00pm
Team Selection – August 26
Team Practice TBA – Aug. 27, 28, (varsity 29), Sept. 2-4, (optional Sept. 7)
Team Retreat (at Cispus) – August 31 & September 1 (Practice held Monday 8am, before departure)
Volleyball Parent meeting – August 27 at 6:00pm (Tentative) View Booster Club information and volunteer opportunities
School Starts – September 9 (Practices will be held every day after school once classes begin)
2105 Season Game Schedule – click here