PIKE PATRIOT PROUD: PLAS Lady Patriots eager to take the court for fall season

Published 3:00 am Thursday, July 30, 2015

Back in early June when Kellen Shirley became the new head volleyball coach at Pike Liberal Arts she was excited for the opportunity to meet her new players and take over a team for the first time.

Fast forward nearly a month and a half and Shirley’s team is attending camps and working hard for the start of the regular season.

The Patriot volleyball team spent the last two days at Robertsdale High School attending a volleyball camp instructed by current Oklahoma University volleyball coach Santiago Restrepo.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The first day of the camp the players learned the basics of volleyball, as learning the basic fundamentals. During day two of the camp the participants put everything together.

“It was a very well-rounded camp, and the all the girls did a really good job,” Shirley said. “He has a way of explaining things that seem to simplify everything. It was really fast-paced and there was a lot of competition. It showed my girls how the game is supposed to be played.”

Shirley hopes the high competition and the fast-paced action they saw during the camp will help the Patriots when the action picks up during the season.

“This is what it’s going to look like. It’s not going to be tap-tap volleyball,” Shirley said.

“It is going to be really competitive and you have to work for every point. I think them seeing that really opened their eyes.”

The camp puts a period on what was a summer of firsts for Shirley and the Patriots. They have spent much of the summer working out and getting to know one another. Along with attending the camp in Robertsdale, the Patriots have also gone to Camp Butter and Egg to work on team building exercises.

“Chemistry of the team is very important,” Shirley said.

“For me this summer has been all about getting to know the players. Volleyball is a very push-and-pull sport. It is very important for the players to grow relationships. They need to be able to know what each other is doing before they do it. They need to be that close.”

Getting to know the players at a personal level is important, but as a coach she was also busy learning the strengths and weaknesses of each player.

“Finding the team’s strengths and weaknesses is important as a coach so you can learn to compensate for it and communicate with your team,” Shirley said. “That’s how it is in every sport, you find the weakness and build it up to make it a strength.”