Mendham High School Volleyball: College Bound?

Sunday, August 6
Here's the basics for College Volleyball


Parents and volleyball players:   here is some basic information if your daughter is interested in playing volleyball in college.  It is a long and involved process with a lot of rules that the player, her parents, and the coaches must follow.  The coaches will inform you along the way if you are violating a rule and what you are able to do.

1.  There are three types of college volleyball programs:

a.  Division 1 – up to 12 scholarships may be awarded per team.  If a school is not fully funded, fewer scholarships will be available.  Approximately 330 schools.

b.  Division 2 – can give partial scholarships at the coaches discretion.

c.  Division 3 – has no athletic scholarship money

2.  Division 1 schools are traditionally the bigger state and private schools with competitive volleyball programs.  If your daughter is interested in this type of program, girls from the east have a difficult time competing with the western and mid-western girls in skill development and experience.  Other parts of the country start playing organized volleyball at young age.  By the time they reach high school they have played many years of club ball and have well developed skills.  Therefore, the eastern colleges offer our girls a better opportunity to play, unless the girl is 6’2” or taller.  All of the big schools look for the extremely tall players.

3.  Division 2 schools are the ones most of us know little about.  Division 3 schools are usually the smaller liberal arts colleges and schools like Gettysburg.

4.  If your daughter is interested in Division 1, you need to begin the process at the beginning of her sophomore year. She needs to have a video made of a competitive game filmed from the rear.  Then send copies of this tape along with a personal bio, contact information, and stat sheet to schools (20-50) in the parts of the country she may want to attend.  This sounds like a lot of schools, but some schools look specific heights or positions which will eliminate them as a possibility.  Some coaches will respond to keep in touch  or give you some information.  Others will say they are sorry she does not fit their profile or positions they need.  Many Division 1 schools fill their positions with verbal committments by May of the player’s junior year even though they cannot sign a player until Nov. of their senior year.  Therefore, you must start early.

5.  If you are looking at Division 2 or 3, beginning the process the end of the sophomore year is adequate.

6.  Which ever type of school you decide to play at, visit the college through the admissions department, take a tour of the school, and make an appointment with the volleyball coach while you are there.  Most of the coaches are very interested in meeting the player and talking with her family.  You must make the contact.  The coaches are not allowed under the NCAA  rules to initiate any contact with any player until after the player’s junior year.  The coach can return emails and talk to you on the phone if you call him, but he cannot call you.  Email or call the coaches you are interested in on a regular basis—monthly then weekly as the time gets closer to their decision.  A second visit to your favorite schools to talk to the coach is also a good idea.  Don’t be afraid to also send other tapes if they show a better set of skills.

7.  All of the coaches want to see you play in person.  They use the tape as an introduction to you,  get a look at your basic skills and see if you might fit their program.  After the initial look they will go to tournaments around the country to watch you in games.  They want to see aggression, how you handle yourself on the court, and the general ability in a match situation.  Therefore, playing on the most competitive club you can make is extremely important.  Some coaches go to the local tournaments like Bay States, but it is not a high enough level a tournament to draw many recruiters.  Clubs that go to tournaments like Las Vegas, Columbus, Reno, Minneapolis, Baltimore, and Dallas, are the clubs you need to play on, because that is where the recruiters go and the best players are for them to look at.   At this point in time DIGS, AVVC, CJVC, and ALLEGRO go to some of these tournaments or all of them.  Check on the intentions of the club before you sign up.

8.  If your daughter is not recruited for one of the scholarship positions or on the regular team, most teams will take “walk-ons”, a player who is on the team who does not have a scholarship.  Some teams treat a walk-on like a scholarship player, and some do not.  It is a question that should be asked.  Available “walk-on” positions depends on how many players a coach carries.  Some carry 14-15 and others carry only 12. 

9.  To help determine the type of school you should be looking at, go to the school’s volleyball web site, pull up the team roster and look at the height of the girls, what and how many positions will be open for your year.  If all of the girls are a lot taller than you, it is probably not a good prospect.  If the middles are 5’10” and the others are in the 5’8” range, it might be a good match.  Also check the level of the conference they are in and their record.  The worse the record and lower the conference the better your chances.

            I hope this is helpful to those of you who would like to have volleyball in your college future.  If you have any questions or would like to discuss it further, feel free to call Dea or George Wehrlin at 973-543-4011.