The U17 Lacombe Crush Club Volleyball Team is having tryouts later this month with the hope of forming a highly competitive team that will compete with Edmonton and Calgary.
The team, according to Head Coach Derek Dayday, is way for young female athletes to prepare for post-secondary volleyball.
“We start at U14 and at that level we prepare the girls to make their junior high teams and senior teams. We want to give them more skills to prepare them for what they want to do in the future,” he said.
Dayday has been coaching the Crush for the last five years and has seen the Club grow to be a team that is representative of more than just Lacombe.
“We are from Lacombe but we have a girl from Stettler and this year we have three girls from Red Deer — they played for Hunting Hills. You can pull girls with higher skills and place them on your team.” he said, adding the goal is to create a stronger team of committed athletes.
“You have the elite players who are there to get better and work hard,” he said. “Everyone in club is there to compete rather than to just fill a spot.
“We are trying to build the skills as they move up each year. We definitely see the skill level getting better.”
For Dayday, getting better is not only fundamental volleyball skills but also growing a greater understanding of the game. Alberta Volleyball allowing teams to sign their veterans is helpful in this regard.
“If you wanted to, you could sign your whole team if you wanted. Right now we have seven girls signed, five of which are form last year.
We are looking at taking 11 players total and I think this year there will be a better turnout than normal.”
The reason for this, according to Dayday is that the Central Alberta Queens Volleyball Club has decided to go with an invite only tryout.
“A lot of the girls who would go to the tryouts there are looking for other teams. Ponoka is not doing a U17 team this year, which they had last year. If it is not Red Deer, it will be Sylvan Lake or Lacombe,” he said.
The team players out of Lacombe Upper Elementary School and competes in three main tournaments in Edmonton and Calgary. After that, they compete in the Provincial Finals.
“We try to do exhibition. We did about five Sundays where we brought teams from other areas for a three-team round-robin. Those will be announced on Facebook,” he said.
Dayday added part of the appeal of the Crush is that it is affordable option that offers a family-like atmosphere.
It is comfortable and everyone gets along with everyone. It is not always 100 per cent about skills. A lot of times it is attitude and how you work with one another,” he said.
The Crush will hold tryouts at Lacombe Upper Elementary on Friday, Nov. 30th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m..
Dayday added it is important to keep in mind that, “Even though the team is from Lacombe, it is not necessarily just Lacombe players.”