This past week, Abella Wehmiller enjoyed learning the basics of volleyball with her peers while attending a camp at Trinity Lutheran’s Bollinger Athletic Complex.
Wehmiller, who will be a second-grader at Immanuel Lutheran School this fall, said this is the first year she attended the camp.
Abella said she attended the camp because of her friend, Annabelle Willhite.
“Annabelle didn’t have anyone to come with this year,” she said. “My cousin usually comes with her, but she couldn’t come and I came with Annabelle instead.”
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Sophia Rudzinski, who attended the camp for the second time, said she learned strategy up front.
“I learned where you have to stand to play a real game,” she said. “In the front row usually you get to do more. You get to pass the ball and get it over the net. In the back row sometimes you get a break, but you get to set the ball.
“My favorite part of volleyball is setting, and I like talking to my teammates.”
Rudzinski, who will be a fourth-grader at Immanuel Lutheran School, said several of her friends also attended the camp.
Trinity head coach Chelsea Stroub said 16 girls, grades second through eighth, attended the camp, and they were divided into different age groups according on their grade.
Stroub said the younger girls worked on the basics.
“We’re just working on the fundamentals of everything so we’re basically starting from scratch and showing them footwork, arm swing, just their right approach and everything about the game,” she said.
With the older group, the game gets more complex.
“We’re fine-tuning their fundamentals, and just making sure they still have their correct footwork, arm swing and all that, and just helping them improve their skills,” Stroub said.
Stroub said some of the older girls attending the camp play on travel volleyball teams.
Rudzinski said that the camp has encouraged her to get more involved in the sport.
“I don’t have a volleyball at my house but I think I’m going to get one so I can practice,” she said.
During camp, Stroub mixed drills and games into the sessions.
“The little girls liked serving a lot,” Stroub said. “We played some fun games with serving and they always wanted to keep doing serving. I think they enjoyed that and they got to see a good outcome with it because they were all getting it over the net.”
She said the hitting and playing defense are the things the younger girls need to work on.
“I’d say passing or hitting was hard for some of them,” she said. “Some of them are really still little, and getting the footwork and all of that, and not running into the net.”
The camp ended Thursday, and Stroub had the older girls scrimmage, while the emphasis with the younger girls was to be in the correct spot on the court.
“It’s harder to do a scrimmage with the younger girls,” Stroub said. “We just try to get them to learn the concept of the game. That is really what we’re going to work on (Thursday), showing them that there’s three hits, and that there’s six people on the court, and the second ball always goes to the setter, and then it goes to a hitter so that’s what we worked on (Thursday).
Members of the Trinity volleyball teams helped with the drills.