Wisconsin volleyball legend comes to SHS | SummitDaily.com

Wisconsin volleyball legend comes to SHS

Summit Daily/Brad OdekirkAfter retiring to Summit County, Gary Sorensen takes over Tigers squad.

Summit High School’s new head volleyball coach, Gary Sorensen, knows the game.After spending the last 29 years guiding the J. I. Case High School boys volleyball team to five Wisconsin state championships, Sorenson now lives in Summit County and hopes to take the Tigers girls team to the same level. During an interview on Thursday afternoon, Sorensen carefully laid out his plans for the program.

“The reality in high school volleyball is that you don’t have many perfect passes,” he said. To compensate, Sorensen plans to introduce a system of audible play calling which fosters communication on the court and allows players to adjust to less accurate passing.”It provides almost limitless opportunities, and it’s unscoutable,” he said. After teaching physical education at Case for nearly three decades, Sorensen came to the county by way of retirement.

“I had been looking at living in this part of the world for the last 10 or 12 years,” he said.When he found out the head coaching position was available, he felt it was a natural fit and contacted Summit High athletic director Gretchen Nies.”Gary found us, and thank goodness. He is a volleyball legend in Wisconsin.” said Nies, who has spent much of the summer attempting to fill seven different head coaching positions. “Everybody back there said that if they could have kept him, they sure would have.” During his tenure at Case, in addition to five state titles, Sorensen’s boys volleyball teams were state runner-ups six times and finished third eight times.

“Gary is more than I could have hoped for this position,” Nies said. “We’ve got some rebuilding to do. Our seniors this year haven’t seen a lot of court time at the varsity level and I think Gary will be great at developing those players, as well as the younger ones.” The volleyball team, like most SHS fall sports teams, will begin practicing on Monday. After a scrimmage with Middle Park on Aug. 28, the girls will begin their regular season on Sept. 2 with a home match against Battle Mountain.Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236 or at rchittick@summitdaily.com.

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