Big Rapids volleyball players enjoy a taste of college education


BIG RAPIDS — Emily VanCulin is entering her second season as Big Rapids’ women’s volleyball coach and is thrilled with the cooperation she’s gotten from her players over the summer.

This week, VanCulin tapped Hannah (Nimrick) Wuest, Ferris’ current assistant and former All-America collegiate star, as camp leader for his players.

“We pretty much covered everything,” Wuest said. “We covered just about everything. We started by serving and serving receiving. This is the most important thing in a volleyball match. Then we moved on to defense and attack. We started with the basics. Then we decided to push our range and see how far we can go in defense and attack.

“We started an exercise and we couldn’t finish it on the first day. The second day we finished it in five minutes. It was quite impressive.

Wuest said she and head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm host satellite camps for schools across the state where they cover various volleyball skills.

“This summer we worked with open gyms and some practices,” VanCulin said. “College went to a Ferris team camp last week. Right now we have Coach Hannah from Ferris here for a two-day, four-session camp. We’re working on communication and going to play at the volleyball.

VanCulin said she had 22 girls who signed up for camp between grades nine and 12.

This week’s sessions have been extremely helpful, VanCulin said.

“Coach Hannah is a great coach,” he said. “It’s a great way for us to start.”

The first day of volleyball practice for Big Rapids is Aug. 8 with tryouts for three days. The first action is a tournament in Alma on August 20th.

“We’re more ahead of the game than we were last year at this point,” VanCulin said.


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