Olympians serve up skills to men's v-ball
October 31, 1997
Olympian Celso Kalache and former U.S. National team member David Olbright
assisted the men's volleyball team in its pre-season open gyms Oct. 9 and
Due to NCAA rules, the head coach is not allowed to instruct the team
as a whole unit, only in small groups. Due to that, head coach Jack Coberly
is not allowed to practice with the team.
Although open gyms are available for the players to utilize, Coberly
has asked personal friends Kalache and Olbright to come offer the team some
"pearls of wisdom."
"Traditionally what has happened at this school is that open gyms
have become more play around time and I would like to it to be more semi-formal
and bring in some instruction," said Coberly.
During the open gyms the players practice on individual techniques and
work on conditioning, both of which are essential to improving the team.
"They [Kalache and Olbright] know so much that pretty much anything
they say you have to accept. They know what they are talking about,"
said freshman opposite hitter Alex Lienert.
Olbright first got started playing volleyball when he joined the Air
Force. He then received a full scholarship to play at UCLA, where he played
for three years. After that, he played on the U.S. National team. After
he graduated with his business and economics degree he coached the women's
volleyball team at the University of Houston from 1981 to 1986. Now Olbright
resides in the Riverside, Calif., area and is in sales with Jostens.
"ULV has strong players and good talent. I think they will have
a good year. They have a good mix of young and old players and with a little
luck and some good direction that Jack can give them, they could have one
of the best seasons in a while," said Olbright of ULV's team.
"I thought it was good. Sometimes you get out of the frame of mind
and forget the basics. It was really good for Dave to come and help,"
said senior setter Morgan Coberly.
Kalache has had quite an experience as well. After watching the 1968
Brazilian national team members play he knew he wanted to play volleyball
in the Olympics, although he was not successful at first, he was persistent.
Kalache was cut twice from the team before he finally made it in 1970.
Persistence was one lesson Kalache tried to relay to ULV's team.
"Be persistent. If you love something go after it. Keep your goals
and stay focused. You might face obstacles but you will achieve it,"
Both Olbright and Kalache worked with the team on passing, blocking,
and serving abilities. Olbright focused on serving, commenting that players
should keep a wide lower base with their legs in order to keep their balance
which results in more control over their serves.
Kalache focused on passing, telling players to concentrate on leg work
and positioning themselves in the right spot and keeping their arms in a
platform formation to allow them a flatter surface, which in turn helps
with keeping control over the ball.
"They have good physical ability but not a lot of height. They
have to concentrate on court play, serving and passing, to compensate for
net play. If they pass well and have a fast offense then they will have
control of the net," said Kalache.
Kalache now resides in Orange and works for UPS.
"The practices are good because we can't have Jack coach us during
pre-season, so practicing with these guys is like getting a full team practice
and then some," said outside hitter Chris Peterson.