Robert Moore School had one player make the Bantam Jamboree (under 14) regional team and another as an alternate at a volleyball tryout camp in Kenora on Sunday.
Mallory Chowhan, 13, was selected to the team while Melanie Pierce, 14, was named an alternate.
Just two players were selected from the contingent of nine who attended the Kenora tryout, with Chowhan now moving on to a camp at York University in Toronto on June 22-25.
Pierce will make the trip if one of the two girls who qualified for the regional team in Kenora cannot attend the Toronto camp.
The regional team is made up of eight players, with the other players selected from similar camps in Dryden, Thunder Bay, and Marathon (two from each one).
“I was quite pleased,” said Cynthia Donald, the girls’ coach at Robert Moore School. “Definitely the program here has helped. We spend about two to five hours a week during the season.”
Donald said both players bring an array of skill level to the floor.
“Both girls are very athletic [and] talented,” said Donald. “Mallory has a nice touch and she’s very knowledgeable. She has a strong serve and a strong spike while Melanie is quite consistent.
“You don’t notice her out there but she’s always bumping well and serving well—she’s very consistent.”
Both players agreed the tryout camp was a good one to attend.
“It taught me different ways to bumping and how to be in better position for serves,” said Chowhan. “I just went there for the practice.”
“We did lots of drills and had games,” added Pierce. “It’s kind of exciting my best friend, Mallory, made the team.”
Chowhan’ mother, Karen, who helped run a volleyball league at Robert Moore this past winter, said the fact kids have had more exposure to the game has helped them develop their skills.
“There’s always a volleyball being tossed around our house,” Chowhan joked, adding Mallory has attended volleyball camps at the Peace Gardens in Manitoba and Rainy River Community College over in International Falls.
Donald agreed the skills the players are taught at these types of camps are invaluable. And Chowhan said it’s a great way to give kids, some of whom do not play on school teams, an opportunity to play the sport.
“The program run by the ladies’ league has been helpful for the kids. It’s nice because any girls who haven’t made their school team can come out and get extra [time on the court],” Chowhan said.
“Anytime they can get their hands on the ball, it’s always going to help them,” she added. “It’s nice to see the kids have fun and have them develop skills as well.”