Each year, the Long Beach State women’s volleyball team hosts a summer camp at the Walter Pyramid for kids from age 9-18 years of age. However, this year might be different.
“Right now we are still waiting,” sophomore libero Carly Hill said. “It honestly depends on if the school is going to open up the Pyramid.”
The camp normally rolls around in July and lasts for a week, giving the student-athletes a chance to sign up, work in the community and share their passion for the game of volleyball.
“I am really able to help out and coach the kids that want to get better,” Hill said. “Each day we do something different. … It is nice for me on the defense days because that is what I am best at, that’s my position.”
It also gives the student-athletes on the team a chance to earn some money, something not easily obtained through the rules and regulations set out by the NCAA, or the athletes’ jam-packed schedules.
“It’s literally like a job at the time we sign a W2-form,” Hill said. “As far as I know we have been in the guidelines.”
NCAA bylaw 12.4.3 states, “A student-athlete may be employed by his or her institution, by another institution, or by a private organization to work in a camp or clinic as a counselor, unless otherwise restricted by NCAA [Bylaw 13.12].”
Due to the spread of the coronavirus, these student-athletes may now be unable to earn some spending money for the upcoming year doing what they love, and the returning players don’t get a chance to build chemistry before the season’s start with the newly acquired freshman for the Beach.
“It is definitely going to be tough coming in as freshmen and you don’t get these camps,” Hill said. “I got these camps and they were helpful.”
With three starting seniors, libero Hailey Harward, middle blocker YiZhi Zue and opposite hitter Kjersti Norveel graduating, it opens up the doors for the rookies to make an impact early on, such as the Gatorade California Volleyball Player of the Year, Mia Tuaniga, younger sister of Long Beach legend and 2018 AVCA National Player of the Year Josh Tuaniga.
“I do look forward to it because it gives us the opportunity to play with the incoming freshman,” Hill said. “We have six incoming this next year, it is going to be a completely different team.”
Having the opportunity to build team chemistry early on is important, but even more so is the ability to prime the new recruits for what being part of the Long Beach State program is like.
“The advantage of having the camps would be you get to work with these kids that are incoming,” Hill said. “They get a preview of our culture, the way we play as a team.”