Chloe Asciutto and Emmy Hansen share a love for volleyball and their community
They remember what it was like before their high school days, when the varsity volleyball players would take time with them, to teach them drills, to give them advice on how to succeed at a high level in the sport that they loved.
“When I was younger, I looked up to the older girls,” Camas senior Emmy Hansen said. “I wanted to be that way when I was older.”
“I wanted to be them,” senior Chloe Asciutto said. “I thought they were amazing.”
Chloe Asciutto and Emmy Hansen are now in the position to become the teachers.
Plus, they are adding to the experience.
Asciutto and Hansen are not just giving their time. They are giving the Camas community a court.
As part of their senior project, the two teamed up to rework an abandoned outdoor volleyball court. They reached out to local businesses and outreach programs, receiving donations of equipment and material. They cleaned up the spot, and have turned it into something new again.
This weekend, Asciutto and Hansen are holding a beach volleyball clinic for youngsters in the community. And on Monday, the two are presenting the restored beach volleyball court to the community. It is also a gift to the new superintendent of Camas Public Schools, Dr. John Anzalone.
The court is on the campus of Odyssey Middle School. The dedication ceremony begins at 4:15 p.m. Monday.
The two got the idea about the court from their mentor at the school, Lisa Schneider. Mentors help with each student’s senior project.
“We first went there, and there was no net or anything set up,” said Hansen, who will be playing volleyball at St. Martin’s University next school year. “It was grown over. Mostly grass. … It wasn’t a useful space.”
The first step was making it safe. They turned into a clean-up crew.
“There was a lot of random pieces of wood, sticks, and rocks,” said Asciutto, who will be playing volleyball at Western Oregon University. “We got the big pieces out of the way and cleaned up some other things. After that is when we really got into adding more sand.”
Granite Industrial, courtesy of Bill Wilson, provided the sand. Logan Klodt of Brush Prairie Concrete brought a skid steer, allowing for the sand to be distributed evenly throughout the court. (Klodt did his student-teaching program at Camas High School.) Karen Rudolf of Camas Community Ed was instrumental in providing the net and with coordinating the camp.
The Camas seniors say this is soft sand, for lack of a better description. Beach volleyball players have all played on courts with rough sand, rock-like, but this sand is easier on the body.
The game itself is so much different than indoor volleyball. Beach volleyball, for the most part, is a two-player game on each side of the net.
“It’s a huge adjustment,” Asciutto said. “The way you have to jump is very different. Every single play, you’re getting a touch on the ball. In doubles, you are constantly in the play.”
At Saturday’s clinic, the two seniors will be teaching a lot of the basics of beach volleyball. Beyond the clinic, it is a celebration of the sport.
“Volleyball is a huge part of my life. I don’t think people realize how much volleyball there is,” Asciutto said. “It’s year-round. From school to club, and if you play beach, it’s a lot of work.”
There will be one more place to play in Camas now. This evening, the plan was to add the nets. The poles have been painted. The boundary lines are on the court. Everything will look uniform before Saturday’s clinic. Then on Monday, a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“I think we’ll both feel really accomplished,” Hansen said.
They have impressed their coach.
“They’re amazing. I’m excited they got to bring in something they love for their senior project,” Camas volleyball coach Michelle Ford said. “They’ve worked hard for this. They learned a lot from this, how to delegate. They’re obviously really busy with school and playing club volleyball, so they have had to prioritize their time.”
Then there is the camp. Proceeds will go to Camas High School volleyball.
“I’m going to let them run it,” Ford said. “It will be a good experience for them.”
The hope is that it is the first of many beach volleyball clinics held on the new court. Asciutto and Hansen envision a couple of seniors next year to take over as the teachers, and then more seniors in the coming years.
Make it a tradition.
With a new court and a new clinic.
“Just something special to add to the community,” Hansen said.