Participants in the recent Marysville youth volleyball camp dive for possession of the ball during a drill. The camp was held Monday through Thursday of this week. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
Marysville High School volleyball coach Bethany Bentz feels the sport is growing in Marysville.
If the attendance at this week’s Lady Monarch youth camp is any indication, she’s right.
A total of 75 girls in grades 4-8 (incoming) began the camp on Monday and concluded on Thursday.
“That’s the most participants we’ve had in the 10 years I’ve been at Marysville as an assistant or the head coach,” said Bentz. “In the past, we’ve averaged between 35 and 40.
“I just think volleyball is growing as a sport not only at Marysville, but around the country,” she said.
The growth of the Marysville program can also be seen in the number (50) of girls in grades 9-12 who have signed up for Lady Monarch tryouts that will begin early next month.
“Our sign-ups for the high school teams (freshman, JV and varsity) in the past have been about the same as our camps,” said Bentz. “We are definitely growing.”
This week’s camp sessions have stressed the fundamentals of the sport.
“We’ve focused on passing, setting, serve receptions and hitting,” said Bentz. “We’re also working on the girls’ volleyball IQs as far as offensive and defensive concepts.
“The camp serves as good pre-tryout sessions for the girls going into the seventh and eighth grades at Bunsold Middle School,” said the coach. “Those girls will go through tryouts Aug. 2-6 and hopefully they are using the camp to build a great foundation.
“What they learn here should give them more confidence as they try out for the seventh and eighth-grade teams.”
The younger girls in grades 4-6 are continuing to learn the basics of the sport.
“We keep our sessions light and full of fun for the younger girls,” said Bentz. “It also helps give them a connection to our high school team.”
Bentz and her coaching staff were joined this week as instructors by members of the Lady Monarch program.