Volleyball was once a sport relegated to "international" status, along with the likes of professional handball and soccer. But in recent years, volleyball has become as American as apple pie.
Its rise in popularity can be readily seen at the Foothill Volleyball Camp, a summer sports program that has been run by former La Canñada High School coach Warren Weaver for nine years. Girls and boys entering fifth through eighth grade gathered this week to learn more about the sport — and have fun in the process.
They come from all skill levels. Some of the kids are seasoned veterans of the sport, and some have never touched a volleyball before. These kids are united by a love for the sport of volleyball.
Very few of them can explain why they love volleyball so much, but they all will say the same thing if asked.
"Because it's fun, you get to meet new people, and I like to hit the ball," said Dana Budzyn, 11.
Nine-year-old Evan Nelson agreed.
"I just love to play, and my dad has been coaching volleyball for 17 years, at CV High School," he said.
According to staff member and La Cañada coach Paul Kim, the program "focuses on skill building [and the] fundamentals" but is mainly about "just having fun."