|Club volleyball fills the gap |
by Nick Moffitt · April 04, 2013
Ruben Galvan didn’t know he would be coaching the Liberty All-Stars volleyball team this year, but the team has been very successful so far in their club season.
“A lot of parents approached me to coach them – I’ve coached them since they were in second grade,” Galvan said.
The 15-and-under team is composed of girls mostly from West Liberty and competes in the Iowa Volleyball Region Gold Division. The All-Stars have placed third or better in three of their four tournaments so far.
Galvan said the All-Stars would participate in two more tournaments, including at regionals April 13-14. Every team in their division qualifies for regionals, but past that point teams must qualify for later tournaments. The Iowa Volleyball Region is a member of the USA Volleyball organization and sanctions youth volleyball events around the state from December to June every year.
Club volleyball fills the three- to four-month gap of the volleyball season during the school year, which allows the girls to play together in a competitive atmosphere during the off-season.
Although not explicitly affiliated with West Liberty High School, most of the team members call West Liberty home. The team practices every week in the West Liberty High School gym. Development is the key for club volleyball, with the three or four extra months providing valuable experience from someone who has years of experience coaching high school volleyball.
“We play against very competitive teams across Iowa throughout the year.” Galvan said.
Most of the girls are freshman right now, with the extra hours of volleyball really paying off once they get to the more competitive years of high school.
Galvan said the development really pays off once they get to their sophomore season and beyond.
Galvan said experience isn’t everything about club volleyball, though, stating how fun the group was and how he loved to coach them.
“They’re a great group of kids to coach,” Galvan said.
Galvan’s experience coaching includes bringing the 2011 West Liberty team to the state tournament. He currently coaches at Davenport West.