Sports

YHS volleyball camp prepares teams for season

Three Yosemite High varsity volleyball players, from left, Alli Ruiz, Samantha Rocky and Rachel Loveland, show volleyball camp attendees, from left, Brynn Miller, 8, Kylie Henningfeld, 9, and Taylor Chastain, 6, how to serve.
Three Yosemite High varsity volleyball players, from left, Alli Ruiz, Samantha Rocky and Rachel Loveland, show volleyball camp attendees, from left, Brynn Miller, 8, Kylie Henningfeld, 9, and Taylor Chastain, 6, how to serve. Sierra Star

A four-day volleyball camp at Yosemite High School last week helped more than 40 girls improve their skills in preparation for the upcoming varsity and JV team try-outs and the coming season.

Former collegiate player and coach Shay Goulding Meurer ran the high school camp and YHS varsity players ran the camp for second through eighth graders.

Meurer taught individual skills and defense and offense systems to 42 Lady Badgers during morning and afternoon sessions.

It is the third year Meurer, who played NCAA D-I volleyball at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina, and coached for 12 years at the college level, including Pepperdine University and Brigham Young University, has come to YHS to assist Chenowith.

“I will take each of these athletes to a new level of play by teaching the fundamentals in a way that will ensure success,” Meurer said.

“Shay is excellent and breaking down a skill and helping players master their technique,” Chenowith said. “Every girl at every level improved their skills at camp.”

An additional two-day camp was held for elementary school players, with YHS varsity team members serving as coaches.

Brynn Miller, 8, said she learned a lot at camp including shuffling (foot work) and “it was cool to meet and be taught by the Badger varsity players.”

“I had a lot of fun at camp and improved by serving, attacking, digging, spiking and passing,” said nine-year-old Kylie Henningfeld.

Defending NSL Champions

Both the YHS varsity and JV teams are coming off North Sequoia League Championship seasons. There were no seniors on the varsity team last season (four sophomores - nine juniors), so almost the entire team is returning to make a run at the Central Section D-III title.

Over the past two seasons, the varsity team has compiled an overall win-loss record of 64-16, sharing the North Sequoia League title with Sierra in 2015 and winning the title outright last year.

Last season the No. 3 seeded Badgers advanced to the D-III Central Section semi-finale round, losing to No. 2 seed Mission Oak Hawks in three sets. Mission Oaks was then defeated by Bakersfield Christian (34-1) for the section title.

The Mission Oak player the Badgers had trouble stopping last year, 6-foot-4 Samantha Arellano, returns this season for her senior year.

Last year’s JV team, coached by Tricia Ruiz, went undefeated in NSL play.

Along with the league title and playoff run, the varsity volleyball team (and girls soccer team), was named CIF State Academic Champions, a first for any Yosemite teams since the academic awards were established four years ago.

The selections are made from the 1,590 schools in the state in all divisions. Team members on both the volleyball and soccer teams had an accumulative 3.9 Grade Point Average (GPA) during the season.

The volleyball team members were Samantha Rockey, Jordyn Jackson, Chloe Duke, Katherine Bayt, Rachel Loveland, Siena Oswald, Sayda Taylor, Tiffany Cacy, Karee Smith, Hannah Hurtado, Savannah Bohna, Alli Ruiz and Bailry Hullender.

“This is something the team, the school and the town can be very proud of,” Chenowith said when the honor was announced last month.

“I often have people tell me ‘because you have all your players back from a league championship team, you are going to be awesome,” Chenowith said. “But every year my players and other teams we play are different. My goal has been and always will be for the team to play their hearts out with no regrets and the results will be eat they are. I’ve often been accused of being too calm during a match ... but that’s because I’ve trained my team during practice to think like a coach and they are usually able to adjust during the match to whatever the opponent throws at them. My goal is for my players to know everything I know and then apply it. It really helps that I have the state CIF Academic Champions playing for me.”

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