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Aspiring Volleyball Players Hone Skills
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"Bump, set and spike" was the order of the day for young volleyball players when Riverbank Recreation Department conducted a training camp for them last week.

A dozen girls ages 10- through 14 came to Cardozo Gymnasium each morning to learn the basics of volleyball and do drills to improve their game.

Many of the girls already play for the Cardozo Middle School Eagles 7th and 8th grade teams, and are looking forward to playing at Riverbank High School.

Former Bruin spikers Megan Medrano and Liza Mila ran the clinic for the Recreation Department. Both 2004 graduates of RHS, Medrano is headed for Modesto Junior College and Mila will attend Chico State University this fall.

"Even if we are not that good yet, we learned how to set the ball and how to sprawl," said camp student Carrie Matthewson.

Sprawling, as its name suggests, involves diving full length on the ground to keep the ball up and off the ground. That's why they wear those knee pads.

"We learned bumping," said Cory Arlt. "I'm on the 7th grade volleyball team at Cardozo. It's my first year on the team. When I get to RHS, I want to play basketball as well."

"We know how to bump at the 7th grade," said Jessica McDonald. "But we need practice at getting the ball back over the net."

The number of girls signing up for the camp climbed quickly in the last few days before it started on July 6.

Recreation Supervisor Kerrie Webb had registered approximately six applicants a week ahead. She was joking that she would have to sign up herself and assistant Mendy McCall to make the camp worthwhile.

But come opening day, there were 13 girls ready and eager to learn. Medrano and Mila were kept busy from there on.

Having labored at drills all the week, the girls each received a camp T-shirt on Friday, and divided into teams to compete in a real game.