Molly Hill could barely contain the excitement she felt Sunday afternoon staring at the scene inside Polk County’s gymnasium.
Volleyball matches in action. A healthy crowd in the stands. Cheers echoing after points.
None of that is anything new for Hill, Polk County’s volleyball coach for the past nine seasons. What made the day special, though, was the source of those cheers and the future they represent.
Polk County hosted the first tournament for the new Foothills Volleyball League, a coalition of programs in Polk and Rutherford counties seeking to offer instruction and tournaments for younger players without the full commitment to a travel club.
Polk County Volleyball Club’s new Academy hosted the event, which brought together 12 teams. Five of those teams came from PCVC Academy, and some 250 fans and guests attended the afternoon-long tourney for players in grades 1-3 and grades 4-6.
“Everyone was so pleased and loved seeing their kids play the correct way, run a true offense, serve receive correctly,” said Hill, who is leading the Academy for PCVC. “It’s hard to teach the correct fundamentals, especially when they’re this young, but it’s what they need and will make them so much better and prepared for when they are older.”
PCVC Academy is geared toward teaching fundamentals and instilling love of the game and has drawn more than 30 players in its debut. Practice is held every Sunday at Polk County High School, and anyone with questions about the Academy can contact Hill at 828-894-2525, ext. 402 or at mhill [@] polkschools.org.
There will be additional tournaments each month, with programs taking turns hosting those. By all accounts, the first of those events was a solid success.
“Seeing our hard work come together today and all these athletes getting a chance to play, it was so rewarding,” Hill said. “We celebrated big when we did something well and I thought that all our teams served exceptionally well.
“It’s just exciting stuff and we can’t wait to keep growing and getting better and playing the sport we love.”