WITH SOME of her fellow Spartans behind her, Sophia Farnan practices her serving during skills training for Richmond’s high school volleyballers Monday in the high school gym.

RICHMOND – After working with her high school volleyballers for a few weeks during summer break, Richmond coach Madison Endsley sees potential for growth in the Spartans.

“We have a lot to work on,” Endsley said Monday. “But I’m ready for it. And I think that, if we put in the work during (the) summer, everything will come along in the season – and I think that we could be successful. … It’s a young team. We don’t have very many seniors, so I think that just by working with them, in a couple of years … we’re going to have … a pretty good volleyball team.”

Endsley, hired as the varsity coach in May, likes the progress she has seen from the Spartans since they began doing skills training at the high school as part of the offseason contact days allowed by the Missouri State High School Activities Association.

“Just by focusing on the fundamentals with passing, now we’re starting to get to play more,” she said. “And I’ve noticed that, by practicing those fundamentals … they are starting to get … (them) down. … My goal, by (the start of the) season, is to have the fundamentals mastered, so we can move into focusing on playing in conference and all that stuff.”

One way Endsley helps the Spartans hone their fundamentals is through drills that involve catching, rather than hitting, the volleyball. Catch-oriented drilling helps players position themselves properly to pass the ball, she said.

“We’ll move into them passing with their forearms,” Endsley said. “But you have to have your body there first – and behind the ball – before you can successfully pass it, because if it’s not in front of you, then it makes it a lot harder.”

Sophia Farnan, who will be a junior this fall, has seen progress in the Spartans from the drills Endsley has organized.

“She’s already done so much for our team,” Farnan said. “She’s brought us closer together with the drills that we’ve been doing.”

Endsley has impressed incoming sophomore Bre Adams, too.

“She’s a great coach,” Adams said. “She really has done a lot.”

Addison Long, one of the team’s few seniors, expects Endsley to “be a great coach for us,” based on what Endsley has accomplished. Endsley is a “fun” coach, Long said.

“She’s showing us new things,” Long said.

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