Posted On: 02/14/20 5:00 PM

Athletes from across the country are taking advantage of the College Camp Friday at Triple Crown, being able to work with coaches from all over at a variety of levels. Clubs from California, Texas, Florida, and the local favorites took advantage of coaching from Duke, George Washington, Yale, West Florida, and Wesleyan.

What was apparent at the beginning for these athletes was the attention to detail from these coaches. Not only are these strong volleyball programs, but are top academic programs as well.

Coach Ben Somera of Wesleyan

Coach Ben Somera of Wesleyan University, a top D3 program in Middletown, Connecticut said, “There is no lame drill, it’s about the high fives, encouragement, and cheering you put into the drill to create the energy”.

Wesleyan University is a Division 3 powerhouse that is also one of the top liberal arts schools in the country in.  They are considered a “Little Ivy” where the average ACT score of a Wesleyan student is 32. 

Coach Somera also said this was a chance to get to know the athletes and for them to get to know him.  This is much more indicative of what it would be like to work together during the season. 

“For me, the positives are getting to interact with the athletes and getting a feel for what they would be like on a day to day basis in your gym.  I don’t think there is a player on my team where I hadn’t worked with them at some type of clinic during the recruiting process. There are lots of people who can hit and dig, but do be able to do it the way you want to do along with the culture is what’s important.” 

Coach Jolene Nagel of Duke University has been one of the mainstays in the ACC volleyball world being at Duke since 1999.  She brings plenty of experience and still has the excitement of opening weekend of recruiting for her in 2020 and getting to see the athletes that have been reaching out to her to start their recruiting process. 

Yale and George Washington programs working with the College Clinics.

“This gives me chills (not just because its cold in Kansas here now).  The level of competition here is out of this world with the number of high quality teams that are here.  It really is incredible what Triple Crown has done to bring these teams together,” said Nagel.

Nagel was joined by other coaches and saw plenty of positives in being able to work and collaborate with others. 

“This is a great opportunity to work with athletes who may be interested in your program, but this is such a great opportunity for me to work with coaches from other programs where I can see what they do in their gym.  We don’t always get that opportunity to work together and we can share ideas with each other,” said Nagel.  

Helena Econn, a powerful pin hitter out of the Los Angeles area from Sunshine Volleyball was in attendance at this clinic and was really looking forward to the high level reps and get a chance to work with these different coaches.

Helena Econn of 17 Sunshine

“You definitely learn what coaches are looking for in players. They teach you really valuable things about their program and volleyball in general that you can take into your collegiate career or you can use immediately in your high school or club seasons,” said the Class of 2021 uncommitted outside. 

Econn will definitely be on the eyes of plenty of college coaches with her communication, positive body language, and overall athleticism which she demonstrated during this clinic, but she is definitely weighing her options to see what is the best fit for her. 

“I’m weighing all my options, I’m taking as much time as I can to really evaluate what I’ve been offered and given and find what is right for me.  It just takes time.” 

Whether athletes are starting their recruiting process or looking to make their final decision, the camps are providing a great way for these athletes to connect with college coaches to learn a little bit of everything from what specific skills they are looking for to what their culture would be like in their gym. 

After a final breakdown it comes down to a matter of hours before the first serve is up at 8 AM Saturday morning in what will be an action-packed weekend at Triple Crown in Kansas City.