While there’s bubbling anticipation at El Dorado High for the start of the fall volleyball season, it’s too soon.
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Being July, it’s first things first so the order of business last month was the annual Girls Volleyball Camp at El Dorado High.
Ran in conjunction with the City of Placerville Recreation and Parks Department, the four-day camp at El Dorado High was overseen by Cougar varsity girls head coach Shelley Bishop.
Bishop, who returns for her second year at the El Dorado helm, had an array of helpers — including varsity assistant/Cougar alum Kristen Cleland — for the two age groups: grades 6-8 from mid morning to 1 p.m. and the high school-age players after that.
Turnout was high: 27-28 for the early group and 42 in the afternoon.
“We’ve held this camp the prior four years at Markham and we’ve always had pretty decent turnout,” Bishop said.
While the older group spent its time on two days of basics: passing, setting, hitting; followed by blocking/defense and ending with game play, the younger girls covered passing, footwork and hitting with down balls, more approaches, dive and rolls, serving, positioning and on the final day game-like situations.
Just some of the drills were Dog Pile, Queen of the Court and 2-on-2. Some swinging exercises were with the ‘Spike it’ and “AcuSpike” — the second hitting apparatus donated by the Kirk family. Julia Kirk was a senior last year.
Four Cougars who will be seniors this fall — Abby Bennett, MacKenzie Neimann, Joy Martin, Piper Raleigh — helped out.
“The program is very competitive here so it’s great to see this many girls out during the summer to get a head start,” the quartet said. “There’s a lot of potential talent.
“We remember coming to camps and looking up to the older girls and wanting to be just like them,” the girls added.
The four helped El Dorado to a 20-9 overall record last season and second place in the Sierra Valley Conference. That team won its playoff opener before running into Christian Brothers. Expectations are higher for the upcoming season.
“This is the season we’ve all been working toward,” the seniors said.”We’ve all known each other since grade school — it’s going to be interesting to see how we’ll be put together.”
That job falls to Bishop who’s well aware of the talent pool around campus.
“We have a lot of strong, athletic girls so we’ll be a strong program again (this year),” Bishop said. “(To prepare for league) we’ll be in three varsity tournaments and play a lot of hard Division 2 and 3 teams.”
Vista del Lago, last year’s SVC champs, has realigned out of the league. That move could clear the path for a banner on Canal Street.