REED CITY — It’s usually in mid-July when Reed City volleyball coach Don Patterson and his players turn up their summer activity several notches to get ready for the upcoming season.

That was the case this week when Patterson and his volleyball players were in the Reed City gym for several hours during four days.

“We’re doing all types of ball control passing,” Patterson said. “It’s passing, overhand passing, mostly forearm passing, plus a little defense as well. We do this two days this week. Thursday and Friday it’s ball control. Next week, we’ll have open gym on Monday and Tuesday. Thursday and Friday, we’ll work on setting.

“The following week, Monday and Tuesday, we open and Thursday and Friday we’ll work on hitting.”

Girls of all high school grades were in the gym. Patterson had 20 players at Thursday’s workout.

“There’s a range (of skills),” Patterson said. “There’s some that are pretty far along on the path and some that are just starting the walk. We’ve seen quite a few of them as the summer gets on. It’s busy, too, with family things.”

After the summer workouts, there’s a break time, followed by the first day of practices Aug. 10 and the season opener in late August.

“We’ll be able to do some individualized stuff during the break, but not a lot,” Patterson said. “We can’t do anything with a large group of kids.”

But the routine is “very similar” to what he’s done with his program in the past, Patterson said.

Patterson had assistant coaches working with him this week, plus former Coyote standout Jacolyn Mullins, who is a junior volleyball player at Adrian College, and is home on summer break

“It’s changed over the years,” Mullins, a 2014 Reed City graduate said. “When I was a freshman, there were open gym days but they have turned more into camps.”