By TRAVIS QUATTLEBAUM
Coming off of a winning season and Head Coach Matt Troy’s first time coaching the team, the University of Mary Washington’s women’s volleyball team is not slowing down for the off season.
The clinic was held on Jan. 18 and 19, and the ladies ran a three hour session each day. The clinic was open to all Spotsylvania county players ages 11 to 14. Normally after a successful season players like to relax and take some time to themselves, but not these Eagles. Only two months after their season’s end, eight players from the volleyball team were back on the court volunteering at Spotsylvania Middle School’s annual volleyball clinic.
With almost 35 middle school players participating over the two day clinic, the volunteers had their hands full. Despite the skill level of the incoming middle schooler, Spotsylvania Middle School Athletic Director Kevin Race ensured that “every student attending the clinic learned something new.”
The UMW team focused on building fundamental volleyball skills that are pivotal to any young player’s development.
Through teaching skills such as serving, passing, setting, blocking and hitting the Eagles share their expertise to help establish a strong community of future volleyball players.
Troy said the camp “was a great opportunity for the team to give back to the community and help grow the game to the next generation of volleyball players.”
When asked about the success of the camp, Race said, “contacting and involving UMW volleyball coaches and players only made the clinic stronger and made it a better success in future years.”
So often the relationships established by sports are not contained just to the volleyball court though.
A sense of comradery transcends the four white lines on a hardwood court. With Spotsylvania Middle School only a short drive away, the friendships built on the court will, with any luck, lead to a surge in young support for the UMW team.
“Hopefully, the girls that attended the clinic will now attend more games and learn the game and support those that helped them too,” Race said.
With eight freshman and four sophomores, the women’s volleyball team is poised for success on the court for years to come, but if the team continues to make community a priority, these ladies will surely have brighter futures off the courts as well.
The women’s volleyball team finished their fall season in November with a 17-12 overall season, 6-2 in the Capital Athletic Conference and netted four players to the All-CAC volleyball team.