Volleyball camp brings girls closer together

Girls who attended the Naugatuck volleyball camp earlier this month come together for a group picture. The camp, which was held at Naugatuck High School, attracted players from the surrounding area and focused on an array of volleyball skills. CONTRIBUTED

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck volleyball camp recently concluded a very successful week as former Greyhounds worked with about 40 girls, ranging from eighth graders to seniors in high school, to improve their serving, setting, and spiking skills.

“We have been conducting this camp since 1999,” Naugatuck High coach Fred Scheithe said. “When I first started there was a league in Woodbridge that the girls went to. But the cost became too high. This camp offers an introduction into the sport for the eighth and ninth graders and serves as a tool to become a better player for the older girls. And we keep the cost to a minimum with all proceeds going as a fundraiser for the high school volleyball program.”

The camp ran at Naugatuck High School from July 5 to July 8 for three hours each morning. The eight volunteer counselors were all former Greyhound volleyball players.

The groups were split up by experience. Daniella Stoehrer, Renee Augustine, and Stephanie Chandler were assigned to the eighth and ninth graders, introducing them to the sport. Kaitlyn Fiorenzi and Skye Stella took the sophomores who had some kind of experience. Shannon (Mesaros) Russell, Alana Wesche, and Melissa Miller were in charge of the juniors and seniors.

“We went through a variety of drills with the younger girls starting from scratch,” Scheithe said. “It became a real bonding experience for all the girls. We had girls from Pomperaug, Woodland, Naugatuck and some of the Waterbury schools. Lauren Baronowski, who will be a senior captain for Pomperaug this season, has been attending the camp since she was in eighth grade.”

At the conclusion of the camp, Scheithe starts up the annual summer volleyball league comprised of high school teams throughout the area. The seven-week league plays at the high school on Monday and Wednesday evenings and each team will play 14 games, or almost a full season, before the start of the school season.

“A lot of these girls haven’t played the game since the end of last season,” Scheithe said. “It’s a good way for the girls to get back into game shape before the start of the school season. We have volunteer coaches to run the league and several NVL teams are represented.”