Building a strong volleyball community

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This summer the Winters High School volleyball teams held a volleyball skills tune-up clinic. The clinic ran through the week of Monday, June 17 and was taught by a Portland State Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee, Karen Strong. Strong shared her 40 plus years of knowledge of the game, and enforced the fundamentals of passing, setting, hitting, serving and blocking. Strong also puts a strong emphasis on team play and unity. Strong, who is highly qualified in many sports, is volunteering her time to the clinic. She has remained current in volleyball as a coach, mentor, and referee. Strong was the first female athlete to receive a full college scholarship in the state of Oregon. While attending Portland State University in the mid 1970’s she played basketball, volleyball and field hockey. On the basketball court she was one of the top performers during the early era of Portland State women’s NCAA athletics. During her time on the women’s basketball team Strong went 41-18 over her two seasons. Strong averaged 22.1 points and 14.7 rebounds in 1975-76. “The clinic was a way to get the girls some exposure with a volleyball in their hands before the fall season starts,” said Angela Stone, the junior varsity volleyball coach. “Winters needs a more comprehensive and competitive program.” The clinic was held at the high school gym for any female athletes of high school age who had interest in playing in the fall. The program was a fundraiser for the volleyball program, and the cost to attend was $20 for the week. If everything goes well with the clinic this summer, here will be a second clinic next summer that will possibly be open to female athletes at the middle school. “This is the start of the building of a community of people who can help,” said Stone. Stone organized the clinic after realizing that volleyball was the only sport at the high school without a feeder program. Baseball has Little League and soccer has AYSO, but there was nothing in town for volleyball.  The morning hours of the clinic were set to focus on skill instruction and drills. Not letting any time go to waste, the lunch hour was used for a time to recap the information and skills assimilated during the morning. The afternoons of the clinic were scheduled for work on the skills learned in the morning and putting them into practice during the game.  ]]>

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