Local volleyball players learn from college coaches

By Charles Whisnand

Appeal Sports Editor

Jordan Reeder could have been kicking back this past week since she had already earned her place in college.

But the former Whittell star, who will be a freshman this fall for the Cornell women's volleyball team, wasn't about to miss this chance. Reeder is one of many players who have trained at Carson City's Capital City Volleyball Club and have gone on to earn a spot on a college team.

And she continued to take advantage of the club this past week when it presented its second annual college coaches clinic, which concluded on Wednesday.

This week's clinic featured Pacific women's volleyball coach Charlie Wade, Steve Suttich, UNLV women's assistant coach Jason Smith and Chico State women's volleyball coach Cody Hein. Smith filled in for UNLV women's volleyball coach Allison Keeley, who was scheduled to attend, but couldn't due to a family emergency.

"When they come here whe need to take full advantage," said Reeder about the college coaches at the clinic.

"It's great exposure. There's no reason not to come out for something like this. You always try to get better."

Wade is in his third year as coach at Pacific and he's already on the way to turning around a once-powerful program. Wade led Pacific to an 18-9 record in his second year last season. Four of the players on the U.S. Women's Volleyball team who are competing in the Olympics in Beijing, China have also been coached by Wade.

A big reason why Wade came to the clinic was his relationship with Capital City Volleyball Club's director of player development Steve George, who Wade has known for 25 years.

"I'm relatively new to the region," said Wade while attending the clinic on Monday. "I like to be able to get out and interact with the players and the coaches in the region. You get a chance to share ideas with other coaches."

While Wade admitted there could be the fortunate time where he sees a player who he would like to have in his program, he didn't see the visit to the clinic as a recruiting trip.

"That's not the motivation," Wade said. "I think it's a bonus if you show up to something like this.

"It solidfies the relationship with the coaches. It's more about building a relationship with the coaches."

Capital City Volleyball Club director Dan McLaughlin said it's still an advantage for the players to attend the clinic. He said while a coach like Wade may not be in need of a player, he may notice a player at the clinic and notify a coach he knows to take a look at that player.

"The next thing your name is out there and you haven't done a thing except attend the clinic," McLaughlin said.

Another advantage to this clinic, McLaughlin said, is the hands-on instruction. McLaughlin said at camps at a major university, head coaches will normally come out and introduce themselves, but provide little instruction, leaving that to their assistants.

All of the coaches at this past week's clinic provided the instruction. Wade said his instruction was based on "like we do in the practice gym" at Pacific.

Wade was also impressed with the Capital City Volleybal Club's Silver State Athletic facility. "It's awesome," he said.

Another one of the coaches at the clinic, Suttich, is a well-known name in the volleyball world. He has more than 30 years of playing and coaching experience. He was an All-American at UCLA and was also the women's volleyball coach at the University of Washington from 1978-1983. McLaughlin said the Suttich name is "royalty in the game of volleyball."

"Volleyball's just like anything," said McLaughlin when talking about the reason for the clinic. "You want to get exposed to as many different ideas, techniques, teachings and philosophies as you can not only as coaches, but as players."

The clinic also allows the clinic to stay on the cutting edge. "We learn what's being taught these days and how it's being taught," he said. McLaughlin also said that there have been local high school coaches to take advantage of the clinic as well.

And it's always nice to hear much of the same instruction from different voices, McLaughlin said. "They will reinforce what they've been hearing," said McLaughlin about what the college coaches have been teaching the players.

"One of the goals I had when I took over the club is elevating the level of play in Northern Nevada and gaining exposure for our kids," McLaughlin said. "We're gaining exposure beyond Nevada and we want to magnify it."

Players will have another chance for more instruction next week as the Capital City Volleyball Club will offer its Get Ready fo School clinic. The clinic, for girls entering seventh through 12th grades, will be held August 8-10. For information, go to www.capitalcityvbc.com or call 883-3500.


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