Lady Jays stressing fundamentals at team camp

Jefferson City High School volleyball coach Christine Meyer teaches the basics of play during volleyball camp this week at Fleming Fieldhouse.

Jefferson City High School volleyball coach Christine Meyer teaches the basics of play during volleyball camp this week at Fleming Fieldhouse. Photo by Julie Smith.

If the Jefferson City volleyball team learned something last season, it’s that defense does matter.

Ozark showed the Lady Jays just how much it mattered in the state quarterfinals.

So as the Lady Jays held summer camp this week at Fleming Fieldhouse, it was no surprise head coach Christine Meyer made sure defense was on the mind of her players.

“Our philosophy is everybody can hit the ball across the state of Missouri,” Meyer said. “But what we noticed when we played Ozark is their defense beat us hands down. We need to really continue to improve upon that.”

That means defensive fundamentals have been the focus of camp.

“We’re just working on our drills with passing,” Meyer said. “We’re doing very basic passing drills up to team passing drills. We’re trying to build in a lot of competition for the girls.”

The Lady Jays will be using the summer’s 25 contact days to their fullest advantage. The team is participating in the Licking Team Camp this weekend in Rolla, as four different Jefferson City teams will be participating.

Later on this summer the squad will go to the Missouri Team Camp instead of Nebraska, where it previously has gone.

Meyer, who is in her second season as head coach, said she thinks this year will run smoother because she’s had a year to work with her team. They know her tendencies, and she knows theirs.

It should also help that the squad has seven seniors returning.

“No doubt it’s easier,” Meyer said. “They know the language we’re going to talk in camp. So I think that’s going to help us because our goal is we’re going to have to build on our success of last year. It will help we’ve already been around each other for a year.”

Meyer said there will be a boost in the schedule this year. The Lady Jays open the season against St. Joseph’s Academy and also play in tournaments at Lee’s Summit West and Blue Springs South this year.

“We had a learning process throughout the year,” Meyer said. “We had some ups and downs throughout the beginning part of the season into the middle part of the season and seeing the change that happened. We had some successes and the girls felt like we were making steps forward. But then we would have some games where we didn’t seem to put it all together.

“Of course we are hoping it leads to success at the end of the year. For those girls last year, I feel it did happen.”

This week’s camps are about the future as well as 140 girls participated in camps this week that ranged from kindergarten through high school.

“We’ve got high school girls that are helping with each of the levels,” Meyer said. “I think for each of the girls it’s somebody to look up to. They get a connection with the girls on the court. They see this is their future in a way. Hopefully it gives them some excitement.”

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