Young netters picking up skills
By Suzanne Werre
The Underwood elementary volleyball players are pretty much just like the older girls, hopping on the bus to go to the "away" games, but they do get more excited as they see the bus turn the corner to pick them up. That’s one of the differences between being an older player and a younger player – the young ones just get a little more excited about everything. In their first year of organized volleyball, Underwood’s fourth, fifth and sixth-grade volleyball players have plenty to be excited about.
While some schools, mostly to the west, have had elementary volleyball programs for years, this is Underwood’s first year with a program. The young athletes started right after high school basketball was done, and they’ve been practicing during the week after school and playing in triangulars and tournaments on Saturdays. As of last Wednesday, the sixth-graders had not lost a single match – maybe a set, but not a match.
"They are like little sponges," said coach Mary Hefta, regarding how the girls are taking to the practices. "They love the sport, and it’s just so fun to see how excited they are."
Once the volleyball players are at the JV and varsity level, they’re expected to already know the fundamentals of the game and should be able to focus on the finesse and more competitive aspects of the game. At this stage of the game, where the girls still have so much to learn, the focus is very different.
The varsity girls focus on tipping, passing and serving.