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May volleyball league draws athletes back to the hardwood

Wanting to give local volleyball athletes opportunities to play and improve but not wanting to travel far, Marble Falls High School head coach Kait Goertz decided to host weekly matches here.

So she decided to reach out to the head coaches at surrounding schools, who accepted the invitation. Each Monday starting at 5 p.m. at Marble Falls Middle School, 1511 Pony Circle Drive, fans can watch their favorite players and teams in one location. Other squads include Burnet, Llano and Killeen Harker Heights.

“We started it last year,” Goertz said. “We’re too far out for our kids to participate in club (in Austin). We just want our kids to play. People weren’t getting the reps they needed. It’s nice hosting the league.”

Each court is divided half, allowing two matches to happen at once. One court is for varsity, while the other features junior varsity. It’s for rising freshmen to seniors. The matches are best of three and usually finish in an hour.

“They can move from gym to gym,” Goertz said. “Everyone plays two games and then helps call one game.”

Giving athletes a chance to play is the first goal. But it’s not the only one. Players who haven’t played together for a while can build rapport and learn more about each other’s styles. It’s also a great way for teams to bond, which can help with on-court success.

While coaches can’t advise their players during matches, they can observe, Goertz said, and help them during the athletic period on their campuses. She called them invaluable to program improvement.

“Those are teaching moments,” she said. “In the gyms you can say ‘I saw a struggle with this. Here’s the adjustments we need to make.’ All of us want our kids playing.”

Once the calendar turns to June, the league will move to Wednesdays at 5 p.m. at the middle school to not interfere with the Lampasas girls basketball night, which is Monday, since many of the teams share athletes. Goertz believes more teams will participate in June, weeks before the start of fall training camps to get ready for the 2022 season.

“I wanted to make sure I didn’t make it difficult for dual-sport athletes,” she said. “We’re trying to help those girls do more. They’re getting a lot of reps, which is what I wanted for them.”

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