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PRCC volleyball using summer to look at prospects

The Pearl River Community College volleyball program won’t have any athletes returning until August, but that doesn’t mean Head Coach Haley Chatham won’t be hard at work during the summer.

The upcoming months will serve as a great time to recruit new players after facing previous restrictions.

It wasn’t until June 1 that in-person recruiting could resume for PRCC’s programs, so Chatham is planning on making the most of the next eight weeks to scout out some potential prospects.

The program will take part in multiple satellite camps where they travel to a high school and work with the players and staff there for a full day, if not two.

Chatham said it’s her team’s duty to help grow the sport of volleyball in Mississippi by educating high school teams on how to improve their programs.

“I think it’s our responsibility as players and coaches to help the kids and coaches we can because volleyball is taking off in Mississippi. We’re still behind, but we’re closing that gap and I think junior colleges can make a difference,” Chatham said.

Another benefit of taking part in the camps will be increased exposure to potential recruits who could better the Lady Wildcats’ program.

Getting to meet players face-to-face and learn about them will help Chatham better understand what they bring to the team, and how they fit in with the culture she’s trying to build.

“We’ll get to know them and let them get to know us. When you interact with somebody on a personal level and have the opportunity to teach them, it can really make a difference,” Chatham said.

Prior to things shutting down, Chatham said the players were making tremendous strides both in the weight room and on the court.

While the lost practice time hurts, Chatham said the gap between the players returning to campus and the first game in the fall would be plenty of time to get things set up and ready for the season.

The team has had to deal with some cancellations as opponents who had been scheduled for this upcoming season dropped out due to a variety of pandemic restrictions.

Because the organizations that govern the several levels of college athletics haven’t come out with all encompassing guidelines, some schools have more restrictions than others.

Still, Chatham said that as long as the team is able to get back on the court she won’t mind.

“We’re just going to be happy to get back together and play. If we have to lose a few matches so be it,” Chatham said.