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The following are returning players from south metro area schools who made last year’s all-league volleyball teams:
Castle View: Lauren Lowry, Leanne Lowry, Katie Menz.
Cherry Creek: Katie Sherman
Douglas County: Melanee Bauer, Jessika Linnemeyer
Heritage: Sydney Larson
Highlands Ranch: Kelsie Minkowski, Allison Conor
Lutheran: Tori Bjorgum, Payton Brjoch, Kennedey Johnson
Mountain Vista: Amanda Keller, Sam Novak
Ponderosa: Abigail Hildebrand, Taylor Weible
Rock Canyon: Keeley Davis
SkyView Academy: Tiana Schwarz
Valor Christian: Lily Thomason
A good volleyball team can relate to what makes a football team successful.
Volleyball players have to know each other and work together just like a good offensive line in football that is directed by an effective quarterback.
“We liken offense to football a lot but the most important part of that is the setter, who is the quarterback of the team,” said Arapahoe coach Jordan Wright. “Setters are running the offense, telling players what plays they are doing, then setting the smartest option within those plays.”
Chaparral coach Amanda West claims team unity goes hand in hand with success.
“Our pre-competition practices are full of team building and consist of a lot of 6-on-6 competition drills to get the girls used to playing next to each other,” she said.
Girls’ high school volleyball teams opened practice Aug. 14.
Eight teams from the Colorado Community Media circulation area were ranked in the CHSAANow.com preseason volleyball polls.
Rock Canyon was third in the Class 5A ratings with Chaparral fourth, Mountain Vista fifth, Cherry Creek sixth and Arapahoe eighth. Holy Family was second in the 4A poll with Valor Christian fifth, while Faith Christian was eighth in the 3A poll.
Teams will have two months of practice and matches to tune up their games before the regionals that must be completed by Nov. 5. The all-classification state tournament is set for Nov. 10-11 at the Denver Coliseum.
“We are in some form of 6-v-6 during 80 percent or more of our practices,” related Castle View coach Scott Dowis. “We do a lot of statistical drills in this environment. We also do one positional practice each week.
“In terms of technology we use an iPad that films our team and projects it to a TV in our gym on a 15-second delay. That way we review a play or player performing a skill right after it happened. The visual feedback is a great tool.”
Ralston Valley coach Debbie Erickson rationalizes that “practice varies depending on where we are in the season.”
At Lutheran, coach Alicia Oates stresses ball control during practice and games.
“We will practice ways to utilize our team strengths while improving any areas of weakness,” Oates said. “As we get into game competition we like to look for ways to use our strengths against our opponent’s weaknesses, but our primary focus is on controlling our side on the net. The more competition, pressure situations and game-like experiences we can create in practice, the better.”
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