By Terri Seier
Wolfpack volleyball has been District Runner-Up for two consecutive years, but this year the volleyball girls are determined to make it to State Volleyball. However, they don’t start working towards their goal during the season; no, it all starts now.
On Wednesday, June 17, 2015, the volleyball girls had their first ever team camp this summer in Aurora with Shelli Mohnike. The camp’s main focus was on serving and passing. “Fundamentals are key. It all starts with getting your serve over, or getting the pass to your setter. If the serve falls short it’s a point for the other team, and without a good pass there can’t be a good kill.” Nicole Beckman, senior volleyball player, tells us. This is seen even in the season.
Most people see the great kill but none of that can happen without the hard work of the back row, the fundamentals.
When the camp started at nine o’ clock in the morning it started simple, going through the proper serving form, like any other camp does. However, Shelli didn’t stop with the form. She made sure to go around to each girl and give pointers and tips on how to improve. “She helps eliminate errors by working with the players slowly, and help them realize their mistakes so that they can improve. ” Nickol Payne, sophomore volleyball player, said when asked what she liked about Shelli’s teaching method.
The camp didn’t stop there. It went on to passing. Again Shelli showed the players proper form and went around giving advice to each girl individually. Shelli’s tips seemed like little changes here and there, but when it came down to serving or receiving just by taking their guide arm down and “elbowing their brother” or turning their shoulders a centimeter more made a big enough difference to land the ball where they wanted on the court. “Shelli works on the little things and those little things are what matter.” Jenna Parks, senior volleyball player, comments.
Suddenly, the last hour of the camp was upon them and everything the Wolfpack volleyball team learned was put together in a series of drills. It started off with just a serving drill called Jail, which Coach Thiele hopes to use as a drill during the season. It was about not only being able to make a serve over the net and in, but also spotting the serve so that in a game situation the server can find the weakest link in the other team’s serve-receive and land Ace serves all game. Another drill Shelli taught the volleyball team was Queen. This was a passing drill where the players had to serve-receive to the target and when they had a good pass they got a letter and the first player to spell Queen won. This helped with getting the players’ footwork down and getting to the ball while also working on keeping it under control. The last drill for the day was a mixture of passing and serving. It worked on the forms that were learned. The concept of the drill was to have one serve-receiver on each court while one server served to them until they got an ace serve and moved on to the next court until they got a total of four ace serves.
The morning may have started off rough when Terri Seier, senior volleyball player, overslept and had to hustle to Petersburg to catch the bus leaving, but it all worked out.
The volleyball girls had a great time working with Shelli and can’t wait to rejoin with her again on July 1 (today) to work on setting and hitting.
Jenna Parks sums up every player’s goal, that they are working so hard for now in one word — “State.”
By Terri Seier