County volleyball teams work out ‘kinks’

Players from Thorsby (left) and Maplesville (right) battle for a ball around the net during an exhibition match on Tuesday at Thorsby High School. (Photos by Anthony Richards)

Players from Thorsby (left) and Maplesville (right) battle for a ball around the net during an exhibition match on Tuesday at Thorsby High School. (Photos by Anthony Richards)

School has yet to start, but volleyball season will soon be upon us and county teams are preparing in a variety ways.

Nearly each Chilton County school was involved on Monday and Tuesday in learning tendencies and immersing themselves once again into high-speed nature of the game.

Thorsby High School invited five teams to take part in an exhibition tournament bracket on Monday and Tuesday.

Each team played at least three matches on both days with the match ending after 20 minutes regardless of the score at the end of the designated time.

“I like play dates because it gives us the opportunity to work out the kinks,” Thorsby head coach Leighsa Robinson said. “It gives the girls a chance to show off what they’ve been working on all summer.”

Officials from Montgomery made the trip up and used the matches as training for new additions to this year’s crew.

“It helps them and it helps us,” Robinson said.

Joining Thorsby during the two-day format was Chilton County High School, Jemison, Maplesville and Billinglsey.

“Mechanically, you can’t expect perfection, but you can always expect to have good effort and a competitive nature,” Jemison head coach Ronnie Holsombeck said. “We’ve been able to show that so far.”

Isabella High School chose to work in camp environment, as the Mustangs hosted a satellite camp with coaches from Auburn University at the school gym on Monday and Tuesday.

The gym at Isabella High School was packed with varsity and junior varsity squads on Tuesday during a satellite camp led by Auburn assistant volleyball coach Chuck Crawford.

The gym at Isabella High School was packed with varsity and junior varsity squads on Tuesday during a satellite camp led by Auburn assistant volleyball coach Chuck Crawford.

“Every coach has their own philosophy, but I like to do my camp at the end of summer because it gets serious after today,” Isabella head coach Glen Graham said.

The majority of time on both days was spent on passing drills, but serving and different styles of hitting were also practiced.

“Passing is something that is worked on at every camp and practice,” Graham said. “It is one of the fundamental keys to the game.”

Modified scrimmages were held after lunch and during the second part of each day.

“I always go into a camp trying to learn at least one new thing as a coach,” Graham said. “I am continuing to learn new ways to help make our girls better players.

Isabella has associated itself with various college programs during its summer camps over the years.

“I became friends with Rick Nold, the head coach at Auburn, when he was at Jacksonville State,” Graham said. “I just really like how they run the camp with knowledge and positivity.”

Auburn assistant volleyball coach Chuck Crawford directed the camp.

“Having a ‘next ball mentality’ is not easy to grasp, but once the kids understand, it changes their game forever,” Crawford said. “This is my second time here, and it is one of the more enjoyable schools to come to. I appreciate their grittiness, because you can’t teach toughness.”

Bates Pool Supply, Durbin Farms and Active Air donated the money to provide food for both days of Isabella’s camp.

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