ARCANUM – The Arcanum and Franklin Monroe high school volleyball teams joined forces this week for a camp run by current and former college volleyball players.
The camp was led by Wittenberg University assistant volleyball coach Evelyn Carus and Rutherford B. Hayes High School volleyball coach Liz Palmer, who were collegiate teammates at Otterbein University.
“It’s been going great,” Palmer said. “The girls have been really positive and really receptive to the feedback and coaching that we’ve been giving them so I feel like we’ve seen some improvements.”
In leading the camp Carus and Palmer were joined by Emily Shuk, a freshman at Otterbein from Tippecanoe; Taylor Yontz, a sophomore at Wittenberg from Springfield Shawnee; and Megan Flaherty, a junior at Wittenberg from Dublin Coffman.
The coaches began working on fundamentals with the Arcanum and Franklin Monroe players then progressed throughout the three days of camp at Arcanum.
“We’re really trying to break things down and help get the little things and the intangibles to a place where they need to be so the teams are really better at communicating,” Carus said. “But then we try to dial it up and get into the defense and the serve receive. You can’t play volleyball without either of those skills so those are really big focus points for both of us at our programs and across the game of volleyball itself.”
Franklin Monroe coach Angie Filbrun and Arcanum coach Macey O’Dell requested an emphasis on offense so much of the focus centered on offense and passing. The girls had a strong foundation to build upon already then did a good job of progressing throughout the week, Carus said.
“Sometimes it just takes them hearing it a different way so it’s sometimes shocking how much of a change you can see in just two days’ time,” the Wittenberg coach said. “It’s a testament to the coaches they have and the type of girls they are. They’re really hard workers, and they really want to get better.”
Carus started the high school camps five or six years ago while she was still a collegiate player with the help of Otterbein head coach Monica Wright. The camp in Arcanum was the fourth of five high school camps for her this summer.
From year to year Carus tries to add some new features to her camps, but they all have many of the same components.
“We always love coming back, and the girls always are really receptive to all the feedback we’ve given them,” she said. “We always try to come with new things, but there’s always some repeats that they love.”
Both Carus and Palmer said they enjoyed having Arcanum and Franklin Monroe combining together for the week.
“As a high school coach, I like it,” Palmer said. “If I was running a camp similar to it … my girls kind of get sick of playing each other all the time so to have another school to compete with, especially one that is in your own conference that you’re going to see later on in the season … they really enjoy it, and they get competitive over it, which is fun to see and be a part of.”
At times the girls were divided by school and other times they were mixed together.
“It gives them an opportunity to kind of work with some players they’re not used to, and it makes them better,” Palmer said. “It definitely challenges them.”