Pine River girls all set after two-day home camp

LEROY — A summer of solid activity for Pine River’s volleyball team has ended.

Coach Jana Dennis and guest assistants were at the gym last week to work with the volleyball girls, who are getting ready for a season that starts with practices on Aug. 13.

There were 22 girls participating from freshmen through seniors. All were from Pine River.

“We had an assistant coach from Valparaiso and two of his girls,” Dennis said. “One of the coaches from the Inside-Out (AAU travel) volleyball program also came. They’re out of Morley and Muskegon.”

The clinic was for two days last week, six hours each day.

“It was a lot of fundamentals and a lot of defense, pretty much a broad gambit of stuff,” Dennis said. “(Wednesday), we did more divided up (sessions) with JV and varsity with situation-type things. They had very few breaks, they were tired. The girls were definitely sweating by the time they were done.”

The team is done with summer work until tryouts.

“We went to a scrimmage and had some open gyms and a good turnout,” Dennis said. “I think we accomplished a little bit getting the jitters out of the girls and getting their hands in good volleyball form. We have six returning (players).”

Among the returnees is Morgan Sumpter, a senior. She is going into her second varsity season. She usually plays setter.

“I like to work on my passing too and a little bit on my back-row hitting,” she said. “It’s mostly been setting.”

Last week’s camp “really helped with my fundamentals,” Sumpter said. “I felt that my passing improved greatly. It helped me out with my hands for setting...and (on passing) where my positioning should be and how low I need to be to the ground.”

It was a busy summer. There are eight days between the first day of practice and the first tournament. The first three days are tryouts.

“It will help us a lot,” Sumpter said. “We have bonded together. We’ll come back strong.”