Encouraging your kids to play sports is near and dear to my heart. Our kids played everything. Right now, volleyball role models are everywhere in our region — at the high school and collegiate levels. For girls, Gannon, Mercyhurst and Edinboro are among the top five of the PSAC West preseason women’s volleyball poll. The Gannon Lady Knights won the conference championship last season with a 29-6 record overall. Similarly, the Penn State Behrend women’s volleyball team has been picked first in the AMCC.
At Fort LeBoeuf, the girls volleyball team became the first team ever to win a state volleyball title from this region. They went 21-0 on the year. The Erie Times-News’ Tom Reisenweber said the team will start the season without graduating seniors Julia Luke, Julie Pace, Emma Veshecco, Amanda Krolczyk, Allania Banta and Maria Peluso. A lot of those girls were also on the softball team that took second in the state. This year’s team is ready for competition. Read the inspiring article by Reisenweber here.
It’s not just what these girls do on the court that’s special. The Mercyhurst women’s volleyball team earned an American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award for the 2012-2013 season. The team had a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average throughout the season.
High school and college volleyball season begins this month, and if you have a middle schooler or grade schooler, take them to see a few games. My kids learned to play at a volleyball court across the street from our house, but two of our kids went on to join some organized recreation leagues to really learn the game.
It’s a team sport that’s spiking interest, and we have some great teams to watch. I played in high school, and my niece was on the US Olympic development team. Like all sports courts and fields, the volleyball court is a great training ground for more than athletics.