As head coach of NNU’s volleyball program, Jared Sliger is committed to recruiting the right athletes for his team. It is important that the players are not only strong athletes, but that they fit into the volleyball team “family.” One of the best ways to find out about potential players is through one-on-one interaction at NNU’s volleyball camps. Every summer at camps across the Northwest, Coach Sliger shares volleyball knowledge, the love of Christ and the news of the life-changing power of an education at Northwest Nazarene University with possible recruits.
For fall 2011, two of the incoming freshman volleyball players are long-time NNU volleyball camp alumni. Both Lauren Garlie (Challis, Idaho) and Taylor Roberts (Nampa, Idaho) began attending volleyball camps when they were in middle school.
Lauren first met Coach Sliger at a volleyball camp in 2006 as a seventh grader. “Lauren has developed into an outstanding attacker. She is a big-time competitor—her team has consistently won during her four years at Challis High School,” said Sliger. “They competed in the state title match every year, and won it twice.”
Another seventh grader caught Coach Sliger’s eye that same summer at camp. Taylor Roberts, now an incoming 2011 freshman defensive player for the Crusaders, impressed coach Sliger with her hard work and talent. “She walked in the gym and started passing and digging everything anyone hit at her,” Sliger recalls. “She had a great personality, and made everyone else around her play harder.” Coach Sliger is excited to learn of Taylor’s history with NNU—both her mom and grandmother attended the University.
In addition to Garlie and Roberts, three more of the incoming freshman volleyball players have attended at least one NNU volleyball camp. Rebecca TenHaken (Clackamas, Ore.) and Michelle Terpstra (Ripon, Calif.) both attended setter-attacker camp, and Kat Burgeson (Gresham, OR) attended team camp. “Camps are one of our biggest recruiting tools. It is a great way for the campers to get to know my staff and me, and while we work with students we are able to identify athletes who will fit into NNU’s program.”
Every summer Sliger tries to improve NNU’s camps. This year significant changes have been made to meet the needs of the local volleyball community. A passing and defense camp is added that will run concurrently with the setter-attacker camps; also added is an extra day of camp in order to maintain the total instruction time of the setter-attacker camp.
An NNU Volleyball Camp website was developed as well to help spread the word about NNU’s awesome camp program, and to help Coach Sliger turn more ‘Campers into Crusaders.’ The site is http://www.nnuvolleyballcamp.com.