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Volleyball Varsity Maroon | SS. Simon and Jude CYO, West Chester, Fall 2008 Season | SS. Simon and Jude CYO, West Chester

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We have arrived! IMPT - changed starting time

Fri October 24 2008 @ 10:01 AM

To all:

The important point first - change of reporting time: the doors at Shanahan will open just before 8am tomorrow morning and PLAY WILL BEGIN at 8:15 am. There will be two pools of play - a 5-team pool which will play 2 sets/game against the other teams in their pool & a 4-team pool which will play 3 sets/games against the other teams in their pool. I do not know which one we will be in... waiting to hear from Casey...


Well, here we are, on the eve of our goal for the year. Like the Phillies, we are in the NL Championships (Region 17 Tourney), looking to advance to the World Series (Archdiocesan playoffs). We have to come through St. Max and St. Joe's... think like Bob the Builder: Yes, we can!!! But we can't overlook the other teams that we will face. Each game will contribute to our mental attitude and confidence.

We had lots of scrimmage this week: vs. St. Kevin's on Tuesday, vs. a mixed team on Wednesday, and vs. ourselves all night on Thursday. I introduced a new mantra: YES! I asked the girls to say it everytime they touched the ball. Until they got silly about it, it worked well! I reminded them that when one player gets down, the team can pick her up. It only takes one girl to fire up the rest of the troops and get us back on track. I asked each of the girls to be that one when needed. There are 25 points (or more!) in a game/set and they have to fight for each one, re-setting their focus if we give any away.

I ask the parents to stay positive in the bleachers and the coaches to stay positive on the benches. In the words of Ursula in Little Mermaid: "body language"!!

I also started giving out rewards for serving in the form of snickers bite sized bits! Desperate times call for desperate measures!! Besides, I am preparing them for the sugar overload of Halloween... so, if I am providing the sugar tomorrow (which I will!), please be sure to send the other food groups: fruit & veggies, protein (trail mix is great - peanuts, raisins, a FEW M&Ms), and carbs (pasta salad with veggies, oatmeal, granola bars, etc.) We will have to check out the Snack Bar when we get there, but all the snack bars at these tournaments seem to have are pizza, possible hot dogs, and candy! I would recommend Wawa hoagies for lunch -- there is a giant Wawa east on Rte 30 at the next light.

We have seen two teams throughout the season. I am counting on you/your player to do the personal preparation for the tournament tomorrow by getting a good night's sleep, eating well today/tonight/tomorrow, etc. so that we see the better team tomorrow.

We have seen them do it... the question is: will they do it??

Last week at the tournament, I asked each player about the dance. Each player looked me in the eye and said that she was NOT going to the dance. Please help your player keep her word. More important than any win/loss we might have in volleyball is the character we are trying to build in these girls: commitment, confidence, being able to win/lose with grace, supporting one another, team spirit, understanding the need for hard, consistent effort, etc.

As you all probably know, Allie Gibbons is out for the season with a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) which is a serious injury. Please keep her in your prayers that she can recover completely and continue her athletic career. Allie loves volleyball and is probably having a hard time living without it! Losing Allie is a definite setback, but not an insurmountable obstacle. We took a game from St. Max without her, played an entire tournament without her (and took silver), so I believe we can still get there.

So, come tomorrow, ready to cheer and support the team/your player as you have been doing all year. I and the rest of the coaches (and the girls) are grateful for your support. They probably won't truly understand the immensity of your support until they get a lot older. But I hope they are remembering to say 'thanks' for now.

My goal for tomorrow is to represent ourselves well, show what we have and, of course, to win. However, I reminded the girls that there is no shame in losing if we represent ourselves well and the other team was just better. When we have all burners firing, I think we are competitive with anyone!



Best to all, Coaches Joyce

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Weekly news - 10/20/2008

Sun October 19 2008 @ 08:31 PM

To all:

Saturday, 10/18

That was quite a tournament! Somewhere in there, I saw the team that took two games from St. Joe's and almost won the match! I saw the team that took a game from St. Max before closing up shop for the day! But then I saw the team that dropped a game to ABVM, Pope John Paul, Our Lady of Victory and those 3 games to MDP at the Tournament of Champions.

I am confident that, if we stack the cards in our favor (good night's sleep, good breakfast, good food during the day coupled with focus and intensity when we play), that the right SSJ Varsity Maroon team will show up next Saturday & we can still make it to the Champsionship match. Do I have any other believers??? Yes, we can!

Sunday, 10/19

Although our opponent was not particularly challenging, I used Sunday's game to step back & just observe the girls to see if I am missing something... I will review my notes and pull out a few more tricks from my bag! thanks to Mrs. Amodei for running the bench.

Schedule for the week:

Tuesday, 10/21, 7 to 9pm, SSJ: scrimmage vs. St. Kevin's Wednesday, 10/22, 7 to 9pm, SSJ: practice Thursday, 10/23, 7 to 9pm, SSJ: practice Saturday, 10/25: Region 17 Varsity A Tournament Sunday, 10/26, 9am: Fall Sports Mass at SSJ. Wear your team shirt and long pants.

Region 17 tournament

Here's the info I have rec'd from Casey so far: _When the regular season games are finished, the standings will determine the seating for the tournament. I expect that we will be in 3rd place since the only teams we lost to were St. Max & St. Joe's. St. Max beat St. Joe's, so they are in 1st & St. Joe's are in 2nd.

The tournament will be held on Saturday Oct 25 at Shanahan. Pool play will start at 9 AM SHARP! Doors will open at 8:30; coaches will meet at 8:45. Pool A will have teams 1, 4, 5 and 8. Pool B will be everyone else (this should be us) Pool play will be two games to 25 starting at 4. The top two teams will come out of each pool with the top team in each pool playing the second place team in the other pool.

Both the semi finals and finals will be a best of 3 match.

Please tell your parents that there will be some bleacher seating but it may be limited due to having both courts in use so they may want to bring chairs (with rubber feet).

There will be a snack bar. _

Heads up for the following week:

We may have to move the end-of-season party to Wednesday, 10/29 (same night of the community service project) -or- make it later on 11/2 (3:30 - 5:30pm) because - there are club tryouts on 11/2 - Mrs. Russell will be returning from a duty weekend in Bethesda and she is not sure she can make it in time for the party.

Keep the change in mind & I will let you know if/when I am able to re-arrange the gym & Parish Center schedule...

Good luck and prayers to Allie G. as she works to strengthen that knee! Positive thoughts & prayers to everyone else!

Coaches Joyce

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Team news - 10/13/2008

Mon October 13 2008 @ 02:56 PM

To all:

Well, it was definitely a very volleyball week last week... and we have another coming up this week!!!

I realize that the 8th graders will be taking Terra Nova testing all week, so please advise me asap if your player cannot attend something and/or needs to leave early, etc.

All events are posted on the team calendar on wagdogs. If you click on the name of each event, you will see additional info about the event/game and anyy notes/comments.

Monday, 10/13 - 5:30pm / 7:00pm

Shanahan is hosting Villa at Shanahan for a game that will benefit the fight against breast cancer. There is a rumor of free admission if the girls wear their CYO uniforms... however, I have not been able to confirm that. I HAVE been able to confirm that a discount will be granted anyone who wears pink. so have your player wear their uniform AND something pink & you'll get the best deal possible!

This is always a great game to watch, plus we have several former SSJ players on both of these teams. Cone & enjoy! I will try to get to the JV game, but I personally have a game at 7:30pm in Plymouth Meeting, so I can't stay long...

Tuesday, 10/14 - 7pm

Allis Soto, club coach, VB referee, and player from CA, is coming to help us improve our defense and hitting. Come ready to work... we're going to get St. Max the next time!

Wednesday, 10/15 - 7pm

We are trying to set up a home scrimmage game on Wednesday vs. St. Kevin's beginning at 7pm. Please advise asap if your player is not available.

Thursday, 10/16 - 7pm

Practice - preparing to win the Keystone Tournament. Hopefully, we will have a chance to face St. Joe's again!

Saturday, 10/18 - Keystone Juniors Tournament

Tournament in Downingtown. Details will be sent as soon as I get them. There will be an additional permission slip to be signed... watch your email for the tournament draw/game schedule and this permission slip.

Sunday, 10/20, 3pm - League game vs. Ss. Peter & Paul

This is our final league game vs. Ss. Peter & Paul.

Next stop: Saturday, 10/25 - Region 17 tournament

Our goal: win the bid to post-season play by coming in first!! The Little Engine that Could said it best: I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.... WOW! I DID it!!!


Dance, 10/24

There are four girls/families I have not yet gotten a response about the dance. I will be asking the girls to personally advise me of their intentions at practice tomorrow if I do not hear their responses before then.

Money matters

  • Community project: We are making pillows for injured troops. Please send/bring $6. If sending a check, make it payable to Stephanie Marvel. Tentative date: Wednesday, 10/29 in Monahan Hall... will be confirmed shortly.

  • Tournament payments: There are still 4 players who did not send in the $16 for our 4th tournament. The CYO paid for three tournaments this year (one more than last year), but the parents agreed to chip in for the 4th: $160 split by 10 players - $16 per player.

Calendar notes:

  • Add Wednesday, 10/22, to your calendar: I am trying to get a scrimmage game with St. Dot's or MDP or someone outside our region who can block & hit hard against us.
  • Add Wednesday, 10/29, to your calendar: tentative date for the community project.
  • Add Sunday, 11/2, to your calendar: that is the date for our end-or-season party (all teams)
  • Add 11/7 & 11/8 to your calendar for Archdiocesan playoffs: When we are successful in winning the post-season bid, we will continue to practice during the weeks of 10/26 & 11/3 with the playoffs occuring on BOTH Saturday & Sunday, as long as we continue to win! Our practice during week of 10/26 will be normal times, but our practice during the week of 11/3 will be in coordination with the basketball program.

I think I can... I think I can...



Coaches Joyce

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News for the week, 10.6.2008

Fri October 03 2008 @ 05:34 PM

To all:

Next week will be a very volleyball week!

Tuesday, 10/7, 7 to 9pm: practice. We might have a guest coach (Allis Soto, coach from Valley Forge, VB referee and player from California).

Wednesday, 10/6, 7:30 to 9pm: scrimmage game vs. St. Francis de Sales in Aston, PA.

Thursday, 10/9, 7 to 9pm: practice

Friday, 10/10 @ SSJ 5:45pm: host & work first game: Philip & James vs. Pope John Paul Work team needed 8 pm: Home game vs. St. Elizabeth. Non-working players report by 7:30pm

Saturday, 10/11 7 am: CYO Classic Tournament at Garnet Valley High School (all day)

Sunday, 10/12 @ SSJ 12:45pm: host & work first game: Sacred Heart vs. Philip & James Green 3 pm: Home game vs. St. Max, Non-players report by 2:30 pm

Tip on using wagdogs

  • Correspondence: All these emails appear on the home page of wagdogs, with the newest one at the top and the oldest one at the bottom. If you click on the 'add comments' link, you can write a note/response that appears on the team page.

  • Schedule: You can see the schedule and game results by clicking on the tab at the top of the team page that says 'Schedule.'

  • Directions to games/events: If you click on the name of any game/event, you will be taken to a page about the game/event which also displays directions to the game/event.

Fire Up!!

Go, Expos!!

Coaches Joyce

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Change of Schedule & League Standings

Fri October 03 2008 @ 04:18 PM

To all:

I have just received a revision to our game schedule and current league standings for the volleyball program.

The game change:

Good news: On October 12, we will be playing St. MAx at home! Ask your friends & families to come, make banners, and be (gracious) cheerleaders for us!

The league standings:

We are currently in 4th place based on matches played, matches won and games won. We have to pick up the pace against the easier teams and win the match in three games. The games that we dropped to ABVM and PJP have cost us in the standings.

St. Max - 10.9 points Match results: 5 wins / 0 losses Game results: 15 wins / 1 loss

St. Joe's - 8.9 points Match results: 4 wins / 0 losses Game results: 12 wins / 2 losses (thanks to us!)

St. Elizabeth's Blue - 8.6 points Match results: 3 wins / 2 losses Game results: 11 wins / 8 losses

SSJ Maroon - 7.7 points Match results: 3 wins / 1 loss Game results: 11 wins / 5 losses

St. Joe's plays St. Max this Sunday while we are playing St. Pat's Kennett. We need to win in three and get ourselves ready to beat St. Max next Sunday.

Fire UP!

Go, Expos!!

Coaches Joyce

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News of the week - 9.29.2008

Mon September 29 2008 @ 04:31 PM

To all

Weekend results

Our game against Pope John Paul went, with consistent, stellar performances by several girls, but it did point out one thing that we really have to work on: our competitive intensity in each game. By that I mean, beginning with the first serve (ours or theirs!!), we have to be ready and able to play our best, not just when we are under pressure. Two of our three match wins (PJP & ABVM) saw us give an easy victory to these teams that we shoulc have defeated in three games rather than four. In the tournaments, we have also had lapses of intensity. I saw it in our match with St. Joe's ... I know we have this abilty within us... keep working and our day will come!

Guest coaches

Tonight is the first chance for the girls (and coaches) to learn something new from another coach. Mrs. Karen Ranson, Keystone Juniors club coach, referee and former CYO coach at Ss Peter & Paul is coming tonight to run a practice for us. I have also invited a few players from the Gold team who are working to make a club or high school team.

Mrs. Allis Soto, Valley Forge club coach, referee and college player from California, the mecca of American VB has also agreed to run a clinic for us. Dates are being discussed...

Learn something new, or learn how to do something better at these sessions! It's up to you to take the best advantage of these opportunities.

Scrimmage Games & Practice schedules

As the season schedule picks up, I have been contacted by several teams to set up scrimmage games: St. Kevin's St. Francis de Sales St. Dot's

Aside from our remaining league games (10/5, 10/10, 10/12, 10/19), we have signed up for two more tournaments: 10/11 - Garnet Valley 10/18 - USTC Downingtown

I need to know who would be interested/available for scrimmage games during the week -- meaning that we would have volleyball three nights during the week -- two nights of practice & one night of scrimmage -- in some combination of Monday thru Thursday. I will invite the teams to come to us, but we may have to travel for the games... the above-mentioned teams are all in Delaware County with MDP being in King of Prussia. I would like to schedule one scrimmage per week starting next week.

Maybe we could schedule a game for Thursday night (after the testing is over that week) and have practices two other nights that week. Our game on 10/19 is against Peter & Paul --- which won't do much to prepare us for the final tournament the following weekend.

Please indicate (by email so I can keep things straight) if you can manage three nights of volleyball in a given week with all your other commitments (homework(!), other activities, etc.)

School Testing

I realize that Terra Nova testing is scheduled for 10/13 -> 10/16. Please let me know if you need your player to be dismissed early on any of those dates to keep them rested for the testing.

Also, some $$ to be collected:

For tournaments:

In light of our reduced schedule, the CYO has agreed to pay for 3 tournaments rather than 2. So you only have to chip in for 1 tournament. Please send $16 in an envelope, attn. Jane Joyce (check to me or cash...) for the tournament fee that has already been paid.

For the community project: We are going to make pillows for the injured troops which will be distributed at Bethesda Naval Hospital as well as the hospital in Germany where the troops are sent once they are stabilized enough to travel. Please send $5 (preferably cash) in an envelope, attn: Mrs. Marvel since she has kindly agreed to coordinate our participation in the community project. The date for the project will be announced shortly.

Region 17 Varsity A Volleyball Tournament - Response required

As I mentioned both at the Pre-Season Parents' Meeting and in the email that I sent with the League schedule as well as re-visited after the Tournament of Champions, I expect the girls to forego/skip/not attend the October 24 Cluster Dance scheduled for SSJ. Please confirm that you/your daughter are in agreement with this request via return email to me.
It would be nice if the parents got together to host a pasta party or some type of get-together that the girls could enjoy, to team build, (to soften the blow) and get them home to bed by 9pm...

That's it for now.
Coaches Joyce

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News for the week, 9.21.2008

Mon September 22 2008 @ 12:03 AM

To all:

I have added some post-tournament & post-game comments from Saturday & Sunday. Click on the event/game name/link & you will see them. Overall, we are pleased with the progress to date, but we still have a ways to go! The goal is to win the Region 17 Tournament on 10/25 and get the bid to the Archdiocesan Playoffs. And then, of course(!), to win the Playoffs! Steady improvement will get us there!

Thanks to all our loyal fans to cheering us on!

Meanwhile, I have posted all our games on the schedule... plus two new opportunities for this coming weekend:

  • a FREE clinic given by West Chester University at Henderson High School on Saturday, 9.27

  • a FREE college game and CYO player clinic at Villanova on Sunday, 9.28


Project coordinators

Stephanie Marvel and Rose Smith have volunteered for this. They will contact everyone if/when they need help. They will work with the other teams' volunteers to set a date for the project to be done. We are making pillows for wounded soldiers at Bethesda Naval Hospital as well as the US hospital in Germany.

Team Photographer

to take pix at the various games and to make sure we take an official 2008 team pix somewhere along the way! I also have a video camera if anyone would be willing to record some parts of a game or two so we can go over the good, the bad & the ugly with the girls at practice.

End of year party coordinator(s)

to coordinate plans with the volunteer parents from the other two teams for the party, tentatively planned for Sunday, 11/2.

Thanks Coaches Joyce

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Season schedule

Fri September 19 2008 @ 02:10 PM

To all:

The much-awaited 2008 season schedule for Region 17 volleyball has been sent to all players via email. I will post them on our wagdogs schedule when I get the chance.

The rest of this blog is a repeat of the info sent w/the schedule, so you can skip it if you read that email carefully and responded as requested.

Re: working teams.

We got off pretty easy this year -- only have towork when we are home! Please email your preferences for the following working dates to me: 9/12: worked by Jen, Colleen, Emily, Catie, Christine 9/21 - work at SSJ for 1:30 pm game 10/10 - work at SSJ for 6:30pm game


I need the following items from anyone/everyone ASAP:

  • a copy of the school calendar that would list any school holidays as well as any testing dates or academic events (Junior Honor Society induction, etc.)

  • a list of the special events for each of the grades (8th & 7th) happening before the end of the season. Remember, if we are successful and qualify for the Archdiocesan Playoffs, the VB season will go until Sunday, November 9th.

PARENTS: If you are on any committee working on any of these special events, please do what you can to avoid scheduling a conflict with any of our game days (and game days for varsity gold)

Re: 1st Fall Dance

At the parents' meeting, we discussed the issue of Fall dances. It appears that the first dance is scheduled at SSJ for Friday, October 24, the night before the Region 17 Varsity A Tournament.

I am expecting the girls to take a pass on this dance. The winner of the tournament is the team who will get the bid for the Archdiocesan Tournament. All of our efforts this season will be geared towards being successful at the tournament. Of course, good rest will be a necessary component of success. Although the dance is over at 10:30pm, it is unreasonable to expect the girls to get home, wind down and get to sleep before midnight, definitely not enough time to get in the 9-11 hours of sleep is recommended for this age group. Even a shorter time at the dance will fire them up and likely make them resentful that they have to leave.

I realize that this is a significant demand on the girls. Hopefully, you can help them with this life lesson: if you want to be the best, it takes sacrifice. Think of all the dances and events any successful Olympic athlete has made along the way.... Not to mention the American Idol competitor, David A., who missed his senior prom to make it into the final round (but he lost!)

Maybe the parents could plan a nice team pasta party, making a championship shirt/ribbons or something together and home by 9 will help ease the sting...

Volunteer positions:

tomorrow at the tournament, I will be talking to everyone about filling one of the following team volunteer positions:

community service projects: 2-3 parents to work with the parent volunteers of the other two teams to collect $$, shop for and supervise the two community service projects. We already have two opportunities in mind... we just need help making it happen.

end-of-year party: 2 parents - party tentatively scheduled for Nov.2 Coordinate food donations, set up, clean up, etc.

team communications - 1 -2 parents - help needed to contact team members if/when there is a last minute item to deal with

uniforms - 1 parent - help collecting the uniforms & returning deposit checks at the end of the year

--- end of brain dump for today ---

See everyone tomorrow! Bring your best game with you!!


Coaches Joyce

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Schedule for the rest of the week

Wed September 17 2008 @ 02:31 PM

To all:

Please confirm receipt of the following. I have only heard from 5 families that they are actually getting email through wagdogs...

Here is the schedule for the rest of the week:

Thursday, 9/18, 7 to 9pm: practice

Friday, 9/19 No game... get a good night's sleep (please NO sleepovers!) and be ready for a challenging tournament on Saturday.

Saturday, 9/20, 7:30am at Aspiring Champions, King of Prussia This is an invitational (yes, we were invited!) called the > Tournament of Champions> and for good reason. Teams from all around our area are invited: NJ, Allentown, Hatboro, DE...) as well as two other teams from our CYO region: St. Joe's & St. Max. We will have a chance to play some very exciting VB, so bring your full game.

Sunday, 9/21, home game Mrs. Amodei (thanks, Sheila!) will be organizing a work team for the 1:30pm game (report to gym at 12:45, please). All players are welcome to come/watch that game, but everyone must be at SSJ by 2:30pm to warm up for our game at 3pm.

Watch your email for the following (I don't know how to attach a file in wagdogs): - the schedule for the Saturday tournament - the full season schedule. It will be out by the end of the week. - the team contact list - schedule of clinics: I have invited three different club coaches to some do a practice for us... waiting to hear back from them...

See everyone at practice on Thursday... Coaches Joyce

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SSJ Apparel Order deadlilne is TODAY - 9/15

Mon September 15 2008 @ 01:09 PM

To all:

I wanted to send this separately, to get your attention. Please direct your questions regarding these purchases to the contact persons listed below. Coaches Joyce

All SSJ apparel orders are due today. You can view/order merchandise as follows:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on CYO sports at top of page
  3. Look for link to Kelly's Sporting Goods at the bottom of the page (which is under
  4. Order all items online & pay online.
  5. Be sure to specify all custom items that are available for the item you pick (color, size, sport, embroidered name, etc.)
  6. All orders must be placed today to be shipped in the first release. There will be additional orders, but they will probably arrive after the Fall season.
  7. Delivery methods (delivery date will be confirmed shortly) a. direct to your home ($8.00 per order) b. Shipment to team ($2.00 per order) c. Direct pickup at Kelly's (free!)

Problems?? / Questions?? Contact SSJ: Stephanie McAneny with any questions: / 610-455-0474 Kelly's:

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Final tournament set

Mon September 15 2008 @ 12:53 PM

To all:

I have decided to stick with the 2nd Liberty Belle tournament on 10/11 because 1. the organizer of the Albertus tournament has not gotten back to me; and, 2. it appears to be 90 minutes away...

Please sign in to wagdogs regularly to check for team news. Also, the rest of the schedule is due out by the end of the week and I will post it as soon as I can.

Congratulations to the girls for winning the 14th Annual CYO Classic tournament on Saturday... very exciting.

Bring lots of energy and focus to practice on Tuesday & Thursday this week. We will be meeting St. Max & St. Joe's in our next tournament on Saturday, 9/20. I think St. Joe's is the team to beat this year!!!

Coaches Joyce

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CYO Apparrel

Wed September 10 2008 @ 12:05 AM

Parents and Players, All CYO logo apparrel orders must be in by September 15th.

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Wagdogs is up & running again!

Tue September 09 2008 @ 01:07 PM

To all:

Let me know if you get this... my first communique via wagdogs.

I have posted the schedule for this week on wagdogs.

  1. Go to;
  2. Click on the link for the Archdiocese of Phila
  3. Click on My Wagdogs & sign with the email address & password you used when you registered.
  4. Click on volleyball as the sport.
  5. You should see yourself/your player assigned to the varsity maroon taem & you should be able to see the schedule.

Let me know how you make out...

I would like to use this as the communication tool for our team.

See everyone tonight! Coaches Joyce

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