Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Volleyball Summer League Helps Players Prepare for Next Season

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Volleyball Summer League Helps Players Prepare for Next Season

Article excerpt

Byline: Brent Beaird, Times-Union correspondent

Everyone got a chance to play. That was one of the objectives of the summer Clay County volleyball league held at Middleburg High School in June.

Bronco volleyball coach Carrie Prewitt said the league, in its second year, offered an opportunity for both junior varsity and varsity players from the county's six high schools to condition for the fall season.

"Everyone got a lot of playing in and that was the objective of the whole thing," she said. "We did the same thing last year, but we did not make it a competitive thing. This year we made it more competitive and it brought up the intensity. Even though we were playing to win, it helped the kids keep their skills up and have some fun."

The league met on Mondays and Thursdays with the junior varsity teams playing two games at 5 p.m. and the varsity teams playing the best two-out-of-three games at 7 p.m. The league ended June 28 with a playoff -- St. Johns Country Day School won, beating Middleburg High School.

Middleburg High has been the league host the past two years because it is the most centrally located of the high schools, Prewitt said.

The league benefits all the county teams because there will be no "two-a-days" in the upcoming school year, due to the early start of school.

"This gives us a chance to see our freshmen and it gives us a chance to see our kids in different positions," she said.

Several of the county's teams are hoping to repeat their success of last year, when Middleburg advanced to the final eight and Clay High, Keystone Heights and St. Johns Country Day advanced to the final 16 in their regions. All four teams won district championships.

For rebuilding teams, the league gave coaches a chance to experiment with different lineups, see who the leaders are, check out team chemistry and find some offensive weapons, Prewitt said.

"We only have two seniors coming up and we have leadership responsibilities that need to be filled," she said. "It gave me a chance to talk to players about their leadership roles."

Orange Park High assistant coach Monica Vickers, whose team lost six seniors to graduation last year, said the league was timely. …

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