Wilberger-Sauer returning home for camp

When Jordan Wilberger-Sauer was growing up, she attended many Western Nebraska Community College volleyball camps.

Now, after four years playing for the University of Nebraska volleyball team, Wilberger-Sauer is coming back to the Panhandle to help Cougar head coach Giovani Melo conduct a 2-day Setters/Hitters camp July 17-18 for seventh through ninth graders. Wilberger-Sauer is looking forward to the camp.

"I enjoy doing volleyball camps and it is nice to come back to the location where I did volleyball camps," Wilberger-Sauer said when she was helping with the WNCC team camp July 2. "I worked with Chris Green, Coach Gi, and Fatima [Balza] other times when I attended camps, so it is great to be back."

Wilberger-Sauer graduated from Scottsbluff High School in 2007 and played four years at Nebraska from 2008-2011. During her Husker career, Wilberger-Sauer became a starter in her redshirt freshman year in 2008, stepping in for injured Kori Cooper and Brooke Delano. She was a team captain in 2011, where she played in 29 matches.

Wilberger-Sauer earned a spot on the Seattle Regional All-Tournament Team in 2010, was a 2-time First Team Academic All-Big 12 selection, and Academic All-Big 10 selection in 2011.

Wilberger-Sauer said the biggest thing that she tries to get through to the girls is having fun and just playing.

"A lot of it is creating memories and experiences that the younger girls can build off of that makes them love the sport of volleyball," she said. "At that age you are still building on the basic foundations of the skills and it is really about having good experiences. A lot of it is getting girls together, playing and touching the ball. If they have a love for the sport, they can take that home and learn on their own."

Wilberger-Sauer, who finished up her Masters at UNL last year and has been doing volleyball camps the past year, coached a 12-year-old club team this past spring. Wilberger-Sauer said she remembers attending WNCC camps when she was little when Giovana Melo and Fatima Balza were players for WNCC. Now, she gets to work side-by-side with Melo and Balza.

"When I went to these camps, I remember the players and Giovana was one of the players. I also went as a high school camp and Fatima was a player," she said. "I remember those players and having fun with those players. I remember them talking to me. I remember Chris [Green, former WNCC coach] really taking the time to help me. It is the coaches that take the time to make one comment that makes you a better player. We just did the Ogallala high school camp for a second year in a row and you see so much growth. It is great to be that person to help them and hopefully they remember stuff and look back and say I enjoyed that player that came back and helped me."

Wilberger-Sauer is one of those players that has grown as a player from her middle school years to being a starter on the Husker volleyball team. At Scottsbluff High, Wilberger-Sauer was a 3-year starter in volleyball, totaling 727 kills and 514 blocks during her prep career. She was also named the Star-Herald's top female athlete in 2007.

She said the biggest things that tries to relate to the younger players is just to grow as a player on and off the court.

"At Nebraska, I grew as a player, but I also grew as a person in character," she said. "I learned a lot about the sport and being on a team, and how you act as a professional whether it is as a job or an athlete."

Wilberger-Sauer is the third former Husker volleyball player to conduct a camp in the valley this spring. Brook Delano conducted a camp at Gering High School the first part of June and then Jordan Larson was part of the LiveNebraska.com tour on June 24.

Wilberger-Sauer said it is nice to bring the Big Red to western Nebraska.

"It is nice to come back and bring a part of Nebraska back here," she said. "Nebraska volleyball is built around the state of Nebraska. We have the best fans in the entire nation. If we can make that statewide, it means a lot to the girls and Coach Cook."

There still is plenty of openings for the WNCC Setter/Hitter Camp on July 17 and 18. The 2-day camp runs from 8:30-11:30 and 12:30-3:30 and costs $100. The camp is designed to fine tune setting and hitting techniques. It will be a camp that will have a lot of reps and one-on-one instruction. There is no limit to the number of participants in the camp. To register, download a camp brochure at wncc.edu or you can register on the first-day of camp.

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