DOBSON — With more than 80 participants, the Lady Knights’ Volleyball Camp drew a record number of campers to Surry Community College from July 16-19.
The camp, held annually for girls between the ages of 6 and 16, is designed to teach basic fundamentals to younger campers and to hone specialized skills for older campers. Surry head volleyball coach Jan Marion-Kiser believes there were several reasons for the record turnout in 2018.
“We did a really good of promoting it. Our volleyball players are a big part of that. They talk to girls they know in middle school, some of them helped coach Junior Olympics teams this year. They really talked it up to those girls,” Marion-Kiser said. “In our area now there is a big population of elementary and middle school girls who want to play volleyball, which is great for growing the sport. Stokes, Surry, Yadkin and Wilkes have a whole lot of young girls that want to learn the game and that helps a lot.”
While the younger group of campers worked on learning the basics of the sport, the older group worked to improve the skills they already have while also learning new techniques. The Knights’ coach said custom drills were put in to focus on distance and special skills for liberos and defensive specialists. Instructors also worked with setters and hitters on getting their approach down, how to get a high hand on the ball, plus blocking and serving.
“And with the older girls, we threw in teaching them a little about our rotations, really just enhancing their overall skill-set throughout the week is what we focused on with them,” Marion-Kiser said. “The younger girls are a lot of fun because they are just getting a taste of it and learning how to pass and proper form. They are a lot of fun, because they are not really big enough to jump and block and hit, but they are fun to work with to see them begin to develop those skills.”
The Surry coach said all campers who participated have been invited to the Knights’ opening games August 25 against Greensboro College and Davidson Community College in Dobson. Admission is free, she said, so coaches and players are asking anyone planning to attend to bring a donation for the Foothills Food Pantry. She said it would be a great way to build on the momentum of what was a fantastic week of volleyball camp.
“I love the fact that we have a strong community that backs its sports up and is confident in sending its girls over to us,” Marion-Kiser said. “And for us it is a great team-bonding experience for the girls and a nice way to prepare for the start of the season.”