|Big Park volleyball focusing on fundamentals|
|Written by Brian Bergner Jr.|
|Tuesday, 06 September 2011 00:00|
Having watched five of the six starters plus a few backups move on to high school, the Big Park Community School volleyball team is starting over.
“It has been challenging. In ‘B’ ball, the kids do simple things, but now, they’re all up at ‘A’ ball and they become specialized players, and learning specialized rotations, and that’s difficult for them at first,” first-year Big Park Head Coach Shelley Woellmer said.
The Coyotes went undefeated in 2010, winning 14 matches and claiming the Verde Valley Athletic Association title.
Woellmer, who held the assistant coach title for six years at Big Park before being named the Coyotes’ newest head coach over the summer, believes the girls are beginning to get it.
Big Park opened the season Aug. 25 at crosstown rival West Sedona School, losing to the Wildcats for the first time in two years, 2-1.
The team seemed out of sync, trying to figure out who went in for whom, and who was supposed to be here or there, instead of just playing volleyball.
The Coyotes rebounded Tuesday, Aug. 30, earning a 2-0 [25-15, 25-6] win over another rival in Cottonwood Middle School.
“The light bulbs went off,” Woellmer said with a big smile. “They played so well. This is a big grow-up year for them, I don’t know how else to say it. They have to think now, instead of just play, and that can be hard at first.”
The only remaining starter from 2010 is eighth-grader Kendall Woellmer who was elected team captain along with eighth-grade newcomer Ashley Sutherland.
Other top newcomers for the Coyotes include eighth-graders Annie Parrella, Michelle Galvez, Emma Keider and Mason Feldtkeller.
For the seventh-graders, Xan Hawes, Maddy Nineman and Sophia Perry look to challenge the older kids for a starting spot.
“It’s good to see our eighth-graders push our younger girls. That’s what they’re supposed to do,” Woellmer said.
When asked what some of Big Park’s team goals were this season, Woellmer said it is best for the girls to learn the complicated volleyball system like rotations without panic.
“My goal is to get these girls ready for high school. We want to play volleyball with confidence,” Woellmer said.
Woellmer said she couldn’t do it without her two assistant coaches, Tina Hawes and Mary-Kate Hafner, adding they are a big help during practices and matches.
Big Park, which is 1-1 on the season, was in action again Thursday, Sept. 1, when it hosted Mayer Middle School. Results were unavailable at press time.
Next up, the Coyotes are scheduled to travel to cross-valley rival Camp Verde Middle School on Tuesday, Sept. 6, with an official start time set for 5 p.m.