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Women’s national volleyball coach to give weekend clinic at Oxford High

Girls in the Oxford-Lafayette community will have the opportunity to learn from one of the nation’s top volleyball coaches this weekend.

Oxford High coach Kacie Hengler — and coach of the Oxford Volleyball Club — is hosting the Tom Pestolesi Clinic at Oxford High School on Saturday and Sunday. Ages 9 and up are eligible to participate.

Pestolesi is the coach at Irvine Valley College, where Hengler played her collegiate volleyball.

“(Pestolesi is) really fun. He has such a passion and love for the game,” Hengler said. “He’s a total goofball but he’s also serious about things that matter. His love for the game is contagious.”

Pestolesi is a successful player in his own right. He was an All-American in 1982 and 1983 during his time at the University of Hawaii. He has coached some of the sport’s best, including Misty May during her high school career.

The clinic will span all day Saturday and run through noon on Sunday. Everything will take place at the Oxford High gym.

On Saturday Pestolesi will focus on the fundamental basics of the sport of volleyball and will focus on the team aspect of the game on Sunday.

The clinic will be broken down into three groups — beginner, intermediate and advanced. Beginners will start the day on Saturday with a two-hour clinic at 8 a.m. The intermediate clinic will start at 10 a.m. with the advance block starting at 2:30 p.m.

On Saturday there will also be a coaches talk with Pestolesi as well as a session with parents to discuss the how to handle the college recruiting process and what is best for their kids.

“Not everyone has the same goals,” Hengler said. “Not everyone wants to play (Division-I). The biggest reason why volleyball is having a hard time taking off (in Mississippi) is that they have a hard time seeing the big goal. ‘Can this help me go to college and earn a scholarship?’ …helping them figure out what other options are.”

Along with Pestolesi, Hengler and her assistant coaches from the club team will be helping run the clinic.

For more information and those wanting to sign up can go to oxfordvolleyballclub.com. Hengler would prefer to have everyone signed up by Friday, as she will talk with each kid to see which skill level they fit in best.