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Rec volleyball league draws about 50 youth

By: Matt Long
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Pass, set, spike. Dozens of girls in El Dorado Hills are enjoying the game of volleyball with an eight-week season that started in June and runs through the first week of August. The girls’ volleyball league started a year ago by the El Dorado Hills Community Services District featured six teams with a total of about 50 players. The popularity has not only seen the league grow to 12 teams and nearly 100 players, but also expand in who’s eligible to compete. “It was originally for fifth through eighth graders, but because of its popularity, we’ve opened the league up to fourth through 12th graders,” Recreation Supervisor Frank Sianez said. “We had some inquiries about girls’ volleyball, which is why we decided to put this together, but I’m pleasantly surprised at how popular it’s become.” While 12 teams competed during the spring session, the current summer session only features eight teams. Sianez estimated that the fall season would grow back up to 12 teams and possibly 14. “I think that the league is popular for a number of reasons, including there not being much variety (of sports) for girls to pick from and perhaps the fact that there are a lot of girls who don’t make the competitive teams and this recreational league gives them a place to play,” Sianez said. During league play, teams play six players aside and the games are officiated by linesmen. All players receive a team jersey (T-shirt). The final week of the season the teams are matched up according to skill level and oftentimes the games are quite competitive. At the end of the session all the players get either a trophy or a medal. The teams are coached by parent volunteers. “We have a coaches’ clinic for the parents that aren’t familiar with some of the rules or with coaching or who just those who need a little confidence boost,” Sianez said. Michelle Hayward, who coached two previous sessions of the CSD program and has two daughters, Meghan, 13, and Madison, 11, playing in the program, is a big supporter. “It’s a great opportunity for girls to play because these programs aren’t offered in too many places,” Hayward said. “The competitive teams only take 12 of maybe 50 girls trying out so it gives the girls that don’t make the team a place to go. The way it’s coached too, they let the girls play every position and that gives them the opportunity to get a feel for the game and all the positions.” Sianez added that the league simply gives girls a chance to play the game. He said the CSD has now begun to receive inquiries about interest in boys’ leagues as well. For more information on the league or other programs offered by the CSD, call 933-6624.