Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Bethany Helwig
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Remembering why I love volleyball so much

From the Editor


September 5, 2019

With the fall sports season upon us, I’ve taken up reporting on volleyball for Moose Lake-Willow River. I used to play back in school and loved it. I made so many good friendships and had a blast playing the game. I also had a great coach (I, along with a few others, created a volleyball rap for him and performed it during our final practice. As it happens, his wife went into labor so he missed it). Coming back to the sport now, I’m reminded of why I enjoy it so much.

One of the things I’d almost forgotten about was the variation of serving styles. If you watch a game, pay attention to how each player goes to serve. Every single one has a particular routine they do beforehand. There’s usually some dribbling, ball spins, and whatever tics they’ve decided on to prepare themselves for that powerful SMACK to get the ball over the net.

I’ll admit, when I was in volleyball I had a tough time serving. I was a weak player in that aspect. I’d be surprised if I managed to make it over the net. Although I’ll always remember when I had an 11-point serving streak and it was amazing.

I still have the muscle memory for my serving routine. Two bounces, a spin in my left hand, step, drawback, overhand swing with my right, and WHAM. It’s one of those weird things where you have to do it the same way each time or it’s just wrong. I guess you could almost call it superstitious.

There was another girl on my team who had too much power in her serves. I was pretty jealous to be honest. She had so much power that she had more trouble with the ball sailing way out of bounds than into the net.

I was reminded of this when watching the MLWR v. Hinckley-Finlayson game. There were plenty of good servers on both teams. Oddly enough, the number 4 players on both sides had a very similar serve that was like a rocket that comes in low and hard to the middle of the court. Let me tell you, being on the receiving end of those serves is no fun. I know from experience. It feels like stopping a sledgehammer with your forearms.

One player in particular caught my eye with her serving style. Everyone else would toss the ball with one hand and serve with the other. It makes sense. It’s easier to do. You get to wind up your other arm then. But this girl, number 18 on the Hinckley-Finlayson team, would bounce the ball, spin it in her right, toss it with her right, and hit it with her right as if it was nothing. You could tell her serves also had plenty of power without a big wind up. Every time I’d watch her serve, I’d think to myself, “Wow, that’s such a power move.”

If you ever read this, player 18 (Ary Puetz), I applaud your skills.


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