The sport of volleyball is nothing like its recreational counterpart of bump, bump, get the ball over anyway you can. No, it’s one of the most technical and complicated team sports on the planet.
There is offense and defense, hitter coverage, blocker coverage and the transition game. Each player has a specific place to be on the court depending on what’s happening in the game in each of those scenarios. One person out of place can result in the loss of a point.
The scoring system also makes for a more intense contest. In the old days, volleyball teams only scored if they had the serve. These days of rally scoring means every play counts.
All of this pressure makes what the Big Bear varsity volleyball team has done so early this season even more special.
The Lady Bears started slow, playing a host of larger schools in a tournament at Citrus Valley, losing three of four matches. But, oh, what a second week these Lady Bears have had.
They are winners of six matches in a row, including dominating victories over former De Anza League rivals Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley. It bodes well for them as they prepare for the Cross Valley League opener at home against AAE on Thursday,
So, what has been key to the winning streak? Communication, for one. Communication is key for players to be in the right place at the right time, or for someone to cover for them if they aren’t.
Watching the Lady Bears in their 3-1 win over Rialto, it became clear that these girls communicate. They talk to each other. They pick each other up. They correct their own mistakes. They pay attention to what’s happening on the other side of the net.
And they dominate the net.
If there have been any vulnerabilities for Big Bear the past few years, it has been in blocking. This Lady Bears team doesn’t seem to have a problem dominating the net — blocking and hitting.
So, if you want to see how the sport of volleyball should be played, go to a Big Bear High School volleyball match. You may just find yourself counted among their growing number of fans.