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Everything you want to know about serving a volleyball

September 26, 2013 - Burt Angeli
In high school volleyball, you don’t see the jump serve all that often.

You see most collegiate players flip the ball in the air, jump and strike the ball during the serve process. High school girls usually keep the feet planted and swing away when serving.

If easy to learn, more high school players would hitting a jump serve. However, Forest Park has four players — Lexi Gussert, Maria Stankewicz, Kendra Campbell and Libby Shamion — using the jump serve technique.

“They all have the green light at this point unless they don't feel confident,” said Kim Bjork when I quizzed the Forest Park coach on the subject. “Then it's their choice. I'm willing to sacrifice service errors at this point in the season if it means our jump serves become a weapon for us down the road.

“The only trouble is our service errors are coming on the front end of our serves right now so we haven't been able to put together long scoring runs. Hopefully we can start limiting our service errors and increase our service aces. It's a work in progress but I see the potential is there.”

I got to thinking about the jump serve after watching Laona-Wabeno’s Holly Spaude drill Florence with six aces. She learned her jump serve from club volleyball.

Holly can jump serve as well as float serve (more on that later). A club volleyball player for three years, her Wisconsin Ice 16 Purple team out of Wausau qualified for nationals in Dallas this past July.

As far as the float serve, that one should knuckle and move around when hit properly. More girls nail this one accidentally.

Lexi Gussert’s jump serve is a top spin serve, according to the Lady Trojans coach. The other three girls that jump serve mostly try to hit a float serve.

“There is a lot of movement with a float serve if executed correctly,” Bjork said. “Each serve type can be executed based on your toss or lift and where you contact the ball.

“For the most part I want them to get their serves in, but we do work on different types of serves in practice.”



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Forest Park's Lexi Gussert hits a jump serve.