Ryan Sparks
Curry Coastal Pilot

Twenty-four aspiring volleyball stars took to the Azalea Middle School courts Aug. 18-20 to learn from some of the best volleyball coaching minds the Brookings-Harbor area has to offer at the 17th Annual Bruin Volleyball Camp.

"It's really fun and you learn a lot about volleyball," said Phoebe Eldridge, a seventh grader at Azalea Middle School who has been attending the camp for the past three years. "The first time I came to the camp I didn't really know anything about volleyball, but after playing I really like volleyball now."

The camp aims to teach girls grades four through eight the fundamentals of volleyball and utilizes the top coaches in the area to do so.

Longtime local volleyball guru and former head coach at Brookings-Harbor High School Lori Cooper was joined by coaching talents Vanessa Nidiffer (former Willamette University player and assistant coach and assistant coach at BHHS) and Samantha Greenlee (current BHHS head coach) to teach budding superstars the ins and outs of the sport as well as refine player techniques.

"There are some kids that are improving. I saw a much higher level at times in many of the kids," Cooper said regarding the players. "You can tell they've been playing. Many of them have been playing in this camp since they were fourth graders. You are starting to see the skills building faster."

Parents also notice the benefits of the camp and the expertise of the coaches.

"I think Cooper is absolutely fabulous and the kids just love her," said Eldridge's mother Tiffany. "It's very organized and she is actually learning skills and I can see the progress from year to year. In fact, when she goes home all she wants to do is practice what she learned at the camp."

"We assess the level the students are at and adapt to what we need to do to coach them," said Cooper of the coaching style at the camp.