By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
It's been a busy summer for members of the Del Norte High volleyball team.
Up to three times a week since school ended in June, several members of both the varsity and junior varsity squads have taken part in an intensive training program designed to get them in the best possible shape for the upcoming season.
Training includes a weightlifting program, jumping rope and other conditioning methods to make sure the girls are in top form when games begin in September.
"We want to compete at the highest level we can each year," head coach Megan Curtis said, adding that the summer training program is a perfect way to get a head start on the competition.
Last year, the Warriors went 17-11 in the regular season, and were undefeated in the Big 5 Conference.
The training program gets the girls in good physical shape when the season begins, so the coaches can concentrate on volleyball fundamentals and not take more time to get the girls in game shape, Curtis said.
"It makes my job easier having them come into practice in shape," she said. "It gets them more in the mindset to get ready to play volleyball for the season."
She added the training program is a great way for the coaches to better know the girlsÂ–especially new members of the team.
Junior Ashley Owen was hard at work as she took part in the weightlifting training at the high school on Tuesday.
She said she's glad to be able to train in the summer.
"It gets you more coordinated and working on your balance so you won't get hurt on the court," Owen said.
Junior Tabitha Hillman said she and her fellow team members are pleased to have the opportunity to participate in intensive summer training.
"It creates endurance and strength," she said, adding the constant grind of playing throughout the fall and playing a physical sport can wear the body down as the season progresses. Having a regimented program also helps the team with discipline and focus, Hillman said.
Try-outs for both the junior high and varsity volleyball teams begin on Aug. 20 at the high school gym and is open to any interested girls who are enrolled at the high school. Varsity practice begins from 7:30-10:30 a.m. for the first session. The second practice session is from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Junior varsity is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information, call Curtis at 954-8887.