Volleyball tryouts are just about finished and Ponoka’s club volleyball teams are readying themselves for the 2016 season.
With the holiday already here, coaches with the two Ponoka volleyball clubs —the Warriors and Central Rage — said they are looking forward to what 2016 will bring.
Coach Darren Josephison heads the Warriors club and he has three teams on the roster. The U13/14, U15 and U16 teams brings players from around central Alberta looking to improve on their skills and be ready for next year’s high school volleyball season, says Josephison.
While the teams aren’t seeded yet, he has some players who have more experience from last year. Once the Warriors play their first premier tournament will be when he finds out where they stand compared to others. Josephison says he wants to take advantage of as many fun tournaments and premiers so his players gain valuable experience on the court.
Bringing players from other communities will also help players improve. “It just makes your own girls play a little better,” he said.
Indeed, Josephison said he has one U15 player from Alix who is six foot one.
For Central Rage, there is a U16 team co-coached by Tammy Emes and Lacombe coach Glen Bluett and the U13s coached by Chris Rowland.
Emes said she expects her U16 team to be ranked in Division 3 to start the season but she intends to improve on that. “I’d like to be in Division 1 at the end of the year or the top of Division 2.”
She has nine players on the team with seven returning from last year. Their experience making it to nationals is expected to pay off this year. Last year, the U16 girls finished fourth in the country in the Tier 4 group.
“I was very impressed and very proud of how they did last year,” said Emes.
Making it to the first premier tournament of the season is an important step in playing at a high level of competition. Emes said if they miss the first premier, the team will have to start from the bottom and work their way up.
She added that there is a staff of four coaches who will be able to give one-on-one instruction to players.
Rowland was not available for comment at time of writing.