Most high school volleyball teams in Ohio have put away the nets and ball for the season.
But volleyball players, many of them to be sure, are in mid-season form with their club teams.
Sarah Saylor Miller, a 1997 graduate of East Clinton High School, runs the Western Buckeye Volleyball Club in Springboro and knows the growing sport is one of many that are 24/7/365 opportunities.
“Volleyball is truly a year-round sport now,” said Miller, daughter of the Cynthia and the late Dan Saylor. “Girls will go from school ball right into club ball. Junior high tryouts are always the last weekend of October, two weeks after their season ends and (high school) tryouts are the Sunday after the state championship game at Wright State, typically the second weekend of November. So there is no down time.”
The club season normally runs January through the end of June, depending on when Nationals are and if a team participates. Then, high school open gym can start in April and run through the first of August, when high schools usually conduct tryouts for the school team.
“During the summer you are busy playing in summer league, camps, and tournaments,” she said.
As a player, to maintain a schedule such as this, you have to love the game. As a coach, or someone who runs an entire club program, there has to a deep-seated commitment to volleyball.
“Volleyball has always been a passion of mine,” said Miller, who was a three-year letterwinner in volleyball for the Astros. “I love the game. I had always watched, followed the game and then a coaching oppurtunity came open with Western Buckeye and I jumped at the chance. I haven’t stopped since.”
After East Clinton, Miller went to the University of Cincinnati and Wright State University, majoring in Early Childhood Education. She has owned and coached at Western Buckeye for 10 years now. Miller also has coached at Springboro and just completed her second season as the head varsity volleyball coach at Wayne High School.
Western Buckeye is a club program that operates out of the Springboro CinDay Academy.
”We have seven to nine teams each year between the ages of 12 and 18 that travel and compete competitively across the state and into Indiana and Kentucky. We also travel and play in a weekend tournament every February in Gatlinburg where we get to play teams from all over. We have most of our teams finish in the top five of each age bracket each year.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports