BLOOMFIELD, NJ – Area middle school and high school athletes took to the court to sharpen their serving, setting and spiking skills during the annual Bengals Volleyball Summer Camp held last week at Bloomfield High School.
The popular co-ed camp, taking place in three different gyms within BHS, is now in its sixth year with Bengals Boys and Girls Varsity Head Coach Louis Stevens at the helm.
“This is an opportunity for not just Bloomfield residents but for residents from other towns to come in and improve their basic and advanced volleyball skills,” Coach Stevens told TAP. “We have a variety of skill levels at the camp and we tailor the workouts based on the talent level that attends the camp.”
Attendance has grown at the camp since Stevens took over lead instruction in 2014. A mix of beginners and advanced players enjoyed a tremendous opportunity to learn from one of the finest fundamental coaches in the state.
“Probably 40 to 50 percent of the kids that attend are fairly new to the sport, especially ones who are entering middle school where their school has a volleyball program and they want to get that experience now and possibly prepare for eventual high school level play,” Stevens said. “That’s the beauty of volleyball – you can pick up the skills quickly, but you don’t really master them. You are always learning new things and new concepts.”
This past spring under Stevens, the Bloomfield boys squad enjoyed a successful season going 22-6 overall, including winning eight of their final nine matches, and capturing the Super Essex Conference American Division Title with a 7-1 record.
For the first time since 2016, the Bengals also captured the Essex County Tournament by sweeping Livingston.
The Bengals then played in the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 1 Boys Volleyball Tournament Final on May 31 at Fair Lawn High School. It was their first-ever sectional championship game appearance in school history.
Next up on Stevens’ plate is the girl’s fall season. Open gym practices started once the school year ended with official practices set to begin next month.
“The open gym’s help the girls who are preparing to try out for the team, and tryouts are August 12,” Stevens added. “We hope to establish the teams by August 15 or 16 and begin practices from that point on. Right now, for our season, we have about 22 matches on the docket and we may add some more.”