Making the cut for the school team or getting selected to an elite club squad aren’t prerequisites to participate in the El Dorado Hills Community Service District girls volleyball league. All you need is the desire to have fun and learn the sport.
The new league, which runs on Tuesday nights in the CSD gym, has grown in size since its inception a year ago.
“It’s done nothing but grow in popularity — girls coming back, new girls coming in,” El Dorado Hills Recreation Supervisor Frank Sianez said. “I didn’t know how it would go but I’m pleasantly surprised. The league started off with six teams, grew to eight and then 12.
“The thing we’ve noticed is that the progress the girls made from the first game to the later games was tremendous. The girls really picked op their volleyball skills in those eight games,” he added.
It’s the first girls volleyball league the CSD has offered. Adult volleyball leagues have been very popular along with summer camps — but there’s never been a league for girls until the CSD launched the program in 2010.
The league targets girls, fourth grade through the 12th grade, and is segregated in two groups. Girls in fourth through sixth grade form one division and seventh-graders and older play in the other.
The roster sizes are small with approximately eight to nine girls on a team, which maximizes playing time. Six-on-six games are played under a rally-scoring format — the first two play to 25 points, the third plays to 15.
The season consists of eight matches — the first seven determine matchups for the eighth week. The fee is $130 per girl, which includes uniforms, a participation award and a personalized trophy or a medal when the season concludes.
“I think the league is nice because you can rotate and play every position,” said Madison Hayward, 11, of El Dorado Hills, whose Spartans had just swept the Jayhawks as the Rebels and Longhorns battled on an adjacent court.
Madison, a student at Rolling Hills Middle School, is playing in her third CSD league season.
Rockin’ Frog Yogurt in El Dorado Hills, a league sponsor, allows one girl from each team a chance to win a $5 gift card each week if they can land a serve onto a designated area on the other side of the net.
Madison’s teammate, Sophie Lambert, 11, took aim and dropped her serve on target for the prize.
“I wasn’t sure I was going to make it — it’s a small space — but I was confident when I took it and it hit the edge,” said Sophie of Folsom, who prefers to play the middle back row and likes serving. “The league is fun and the sport is cool — you get to play every position instead of just one.”
While Madison and Sophie’s level isn’t quite the bump-set-spike crowd, the older girls bring a higher skill set to the table. Teams in that division also borrow college mascots for their names: the Bulldogs, Aggies, Sooners and Wolfpack.
Twelve-year-old Megan Moore of Marina Middle School anxiously awaited her match as a member of the Aggies. The El Dorado Hills youngster has tried her hand at soccer, basketball and cheerleading but thinks volleyball could be the one she will settle on.
“I wasn’t really good at them (others sports) but I’ve found this sport and I plan to stick with it,” said Megan, who has played in the league before. “The league is really good and if you have a good coach they can teach you some moves to be successful.”
The deadline to sign up for the next season is Aug. 18. The girls have one practice and play in one match each week. The new season will run from Sept. 24 through Nov. 12 and the fee will be $132.
Call the El Dorado Hills CSD Registration Desk at (916) 933-6624 before the Aug. 18 deadline.