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Team-building is the focus of the Crook County High School volleyball squad's July camp

LON AUSTIN - Haven Housely smacks a spike during the Cowgirls' volleyball camp at Crook County High School. The camp's focus is to help the program become more of a "family" on and off the court.The Crook County High School volleyball team held its annual team camp this past week.

The camp, which focuses on fundamentals and teamwork, was well attended as 28 people showed up on Monday for the opening day of the three-day camp.

"It's been fun," said senior setter Jenny McKinnon on Wednesday's final day of the camp. "It's been fun playing, especially the non-volleyball games and getting to know everyone. We have a lot of freshmen this year, which is awesome."

Since Kristy Struck took over the reins of the program two years ago, one of her primary goals has been to create a sense of family in the program, with players helping each other, both on and off the court.

As a consequence, a portion of the team camp was spent giving kids an opportunity to play games other than volleyball so that they had a chance to get to know each other better. For example on Wednesday, shortly after lunch, you could see cornhole games on the gym floor as well as players working on juggling skills.

"It's a good way to get ready for the season – there's no doubt about it," McKinnon said.

That doesn't mean that the camp is all fun and games, however. Players worked hard during the three-day event to polish their skills and learn the team's system.

"We are working hard to push ourselves to the best of our abilities so we can make it to state and just go as far as our team can go," senior outside hitter Kendall Maycutt said. "Camp helps us to accomplish that goal because it requires us to think harder and be more mindful about our actions and how we are playing on the court."

Maycutt added that camp went well and players got a lot of work on their volleyball skills.

"We've been working hard, doing a lot of wash drills and getting our skills better by working on fundamentals and being mindful," she said.

McKinnon agreed.

"Our goal is to get as far as we can and this helps because it gets us into competition starting earlier."

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