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Nederland uses summer schedule to sharpen skills, break-in young volleyball athletes

NEDERLAND — The Nederland Bulldogs volleyball team wrapped up the summer program Tuesday.

Head Coach Allie Crommett said the team has utilized several skill-specific and player-led practices so far this summer.

“On Mondays and Thursdays, we let our middle school kids come, too, so we have had anywhere from 85-90 kids in here,” Crommett said.

“They are all doing the same thing. My returning kids played in the Mont Belvieu Summer League, which just finished last week. They played really well. I am excited to see how they do during the season.”

The Bulldogs lost to Baytown Sterling, who went on to win the league.

“We lost 25-22 and 27-25, and they have some really big hitters,” Crommett said.

Nederland Volleyball Coach Allie Crommett watches her team practice. (Chris Moore/The News)

Team captain Katie Perez was happy to be back in the gym with the rest of her teammates.

“It feels good,” she said. “I have missed them. It feels good to play with them and practice again.”

The coach said she hopes the younger players learn from practicing with varsity high school players.

“This isn’t something we have ever done before,” Crommett said. “For them, they get to see what our expectations are at high school and are introduced to how we do things. They get to see what it takes to get to this level and the commitment a lot of these kids have.”

Kamren Savarino sets up a serve during practice at Nederland High School. (Chris Moore/The News)

Perez said it is up to the upperclassmen to show younger players the ropes.

“When we are gone, they will be the older ones,” she said. “They have to learn from us and see what we are doing.”

The captain said she has very clear goals for her and her teammates this upcoming season.

“I want to beat Barbers Hill,” she said. “I want to get first in district and I want to get as far as we can in the playoffs.”

Kamren Savarino, who is also a four-year varsity member, said the summer is about fine tuning skills.

“This is where we build toward the beginning of the season,” Savarino said. “I feel like the (summer leagues) helped us a lot. It showed us where our little kinks are and what we need to work on.”

Crommett is excited about the return of Savarino and Perez, along with junior Ava Wiltz.

“All 12 that I have watched play, so far, together have been on varsity and have a lot of experience,” the coach said. “That is going to help us. They know each other and can get in the groove of things. I am excited to see how they stack up this year.”

The team will now break for few weeks before returning for more rigorous workouts in August, Crommett said.

“I give them a few weeks off so they can have that mental break,” she said. “You never know how long the season is going to last. I hate to start and go four months and when it is time for the important games, they are burned out.”