Camp Verde moves onto ‘smart volleyball’

Camp Verde volleyball players cheer and dance together before a scrimmage on Thursday at home. VVN/James Kelley

Camp Verde volleyball players cheer and dance together before a scrimmage on Thursday at home. VVN/James Kelley

Camp Verde High volleyball has entered the next phase of growth.

Third-year head coach Britney Armstrong said the Cowboys are looking promising this year.

“We have a lot of young talent and we just really have built every single year,” Armstrong said. “Honestly the first two years was just a lot of technique, technique, technique, learning how to do things. You have to have you’re A,B,C before you can have your X,Y,Z and now that they have those, we’re able to now do more game like strategies and ‘okay, we can hit the ball, but where should we hit the ball?’ and just playing smarter and just trying to figure out where the holes are.”

Junior Bennett Holm they’re doing a lot better than her first two seasons.

“My freshman year we were doing more fundamental things, teaching girls how to do things and now we are able to focus more on finding places on the court, we can focus more on smart volleyball instead of fundamental volleyball,” Holm said.

Sophomore Maya Hedges said “everything is looking better than last year,” that they are communicating more and passing more.

Cowboy volleyball has also grown in terms of numbers. Last year they only had JV and varsity, though the JV did play some freshman matches, but this year they have freshman, JV and varsity teams.

“That’s actually really awesome because usually we don’t very many girls that try out for volleyball here because all of the athletes play soccer, so it’s nice to see that there are lots of freshmen and sophomores willing to play,” Holm said.

Armstrong said she loves the growth of the sport at Camp Verde.

“Volleyball is such a great sport,” Armstrong said. “I played many sports and volleyball is just my favorite, it’s fast paced, it’s intense, you got to be able to rebound from a mistake quickly and I love to see the girls coming out I hope that we can keep changing the culture and making it a positive thing for the girls around here.”

The Cowboys lost Jade Oium, who was honorable mention All-Central Region, but returned Holm and Hedges, who were second team and Kendall Pettersen, who was honorable mention.

Also, Hedges was first in the region in blocks despite playing in 29 less sets than the second best blocker.

Hedges is part of a group of underclassmen that has Armstrong excited.

The Cowboys only have two seniors and four juniors but they had two freshmen make varsity.

The Cowboys open the season on Tuesday when they host BASIS Flagstaff at 6 p.m. They host Chino Valley on Sept. 4, travel to Sedona Red Rock on Sept. 13 and then host the Scorpions on Oct. 9.

Armstrong said the region looks strong again and some of their schedule is a mystery.

“We have a few new teams that I don’t know anything about,” Armstrong said. “Of course we’re going to have Sedona and Glendale Prep, which are going to be tough contenders Northland Prep was also a really great team last year too.”

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