Opens season at home Saturday, August 19
By Than Acuff
With Marla and Sheri Covey returning as coaches of the Crested Butte volleyball team from last year, the team looks to build off last season’s work, and a difference can already be seen during preseason workouts.
The first paradigm shift for the program came during the off-season and over the summer as players from last year and incoming freshmen both took advantage of opportunities to get extra work in.
A handful of freshmen participated in club volleyball and of the 21-23 players out this fall, 17 of them participated in a summer team camp at Colorado Mesa University in July.
“That’s big,” says Marla. “When you have 17 of 21 players at a camp, that helps.”
“They’re moving to the ball better and the levels have come up overall,” adds Sheri. “We’re two weeks ahead of where we were this time last year.”
That commitment has shown through when preseason started on August 7 as nearly the entire team showed up from day one of their first week of two practices a day.
“We had 95% of the team there for the first week,” says Marla.
While the Titans team did lose five players to graduation and only one senior this year, they have several juniors who got significant varsity time as sophomores last year and provide a solid core for the team this season.
“We have several juniors that started last year and they’re stepping into leadership roles,” says Marla.
Marla and Sheri are using the second week of preseason to get more attention to more players as they alternate varsity and JV workouts and morale on the team seems to be good as the players are familiar with Marla and Sheri’s coaching and expectations.
“The energy is more positive this year,” says Sheri.
“I think part of that is that they’re just more used to us now,” adds Marla.
The Titans open the season at home when they host a tournament on Saturday, August 19 bringing in teams from Creede, Cotopaxi and Mountain Valley for some non-league play. They open with a match at 9 a.m. and two more matches throughout the day. The Titans then jump right into league play when they host Sargent on Tuesday, August 22 at 5:30 p.m.
“Hopefully we’ll get some experience Saturday and build some confidence going into our league game against Sargent,” says Marla.
While the Titans continue to work on technique, fitness, passing, serving and all the various aspects that go into playing the game of volleyball well, Marla and Sheri are also looking for an attitude shift with this team and the program as a whole.
“Hopefully we’ll turn the corner and start playing to win rather than playing not to lose,” says Sheri.