Growing boys volleyball: How one coach is making a difference in So. Oregon

MEDFORD, Ore. – Boys volleyball is not an officially sanctioned sport at the high school level in Oregon.

“We’re the only boys team south of Corvallis in the state of Oregon,” head coach Katie Miller said.

Katie Miller is the head coach of iSpike, a girls and boys volleyball club team.

Her 16-and under boys team started just two years ago is already ranked top 100 in the nation.

She’s also led the charge in growing the sport right here in Southern Oregon.

“There’s been a movement of growing boys volleyball state-by-state and I think it started in Portland and then it starting to get bigger,” Miller said. “We’ve seen a lot of growth in the boys team in the last year, from when we played last year to now. There’s just a lot more teams to play.”

The club team features all local student athletes from across the Rogue Valley.

For many of them, this is their only opportunity to play volleyball at a competitive level.

“You just don’t get that many opportunities as a guy, so I feel like it’s pretty special to be living in Oregon and having the opportunity somewhere close that you can play volleyball,” iSpike setter Calvin McGary said.”

“To see how much we’ve grown, so see how many clubs have started, it’s really cool,” iSpike middle blocker Kent David said.

But soon, the OSAA will allow high schools to compete at the club level for boys volleyball.

According to Miller, six high schools locally are signed up to participate in matches starting in April.

Now, she’s trying to spread the word about creating a high school club team, in hopes boys volleyball becomes a fully sanctioned high school sport one day.

“I‘ve been trying to reach out and contact high school girls coaches in particular, to try and get them to start a team,” Miller said. “I’ve been reaching out to local club directors who have connections with the high schools. I hope to continue to see it grow not necessarily the size of the girls, but at least the competitive and skill level.”

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NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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