Volleyball coach expands summer opportunities locally, nationally

It may be the middle of summer on campus, but the training never stops for Marietta College volleyball coach Ray Costa, who recently coordinated and directed two youth camps on the Pioneer campus.


The first camp, known as the “Senior Elite,” catered to 30 young athletes and is run with the intent of giving rising high school seniors an opportunity to understand what college level competition is all about.


Working alongside Costa for the fourth consecutive year was long-time friend and Washington & Lee University coach Bryan Snyder. Together the two strive to offer the ladies an experience that is similar to what they will be encountering at the next level. The sessions are set at a higher intensity and the training is structured around small group activities and drills. The coaching staff, comprised of only college coaches, pushes the women harder and introduces advanced tactics that requires an already solid skill set.


“By introducing them to the cerebral side of the game and pushing their physical skills, we hope that they then go back and apply it to their high school and club teams to develop those skills before they enter college,” Costa said.


National recognition is very important for the recruiting process and this year’s camp was evidence the Pioneer name is beginning to expand regionally as well as nationally.


Student athletes from California, Colorado, Florida and North Carolina, just to name a few, attended the camp. Many of the recruits come to the camp for the opportunity to play against others from across the country as a way to sharpen their skills while playing with strong competition.


“They are able to go home and share their experience with teammates and talk about Marietta’s program and campus,” Costa said. “With so many positives surrounding both, I think it is a huge advantage to us in the recruiting world.”


Recovery time between camps is very minimal for the busy coach. Following the “Senior Elite” is the “Marietta Volleyball Camp,” which lasts for another four days. It is run with the intent to introduce and refine fundamental skills and strategies to beginning and intermediate athletes. Thirty young players attended the camp this year, which was structured differently to accommodate the younger age group.


“We focus on emphasizing hard work, communication and technique in order to develop the fundamentals that will be important for the next levels of competition,” Costa said.


The majority of the campers are local athletes looking to fine tune their preparations for next year’s high school or middle school season. The girls ranged from fifth to ninth graders, where the fundamental aspects of the game are still very important for future success.


This summer’s hard work by both players and coaches was made evident by Costa.


“We had more kids than ever before and the talent and energy each and every day made it a special year and I’m already looking forward to next summer,” he said.