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Ventura County : TODAY'S FOCUS / VOLLEYBALL

Pumping the Iron Pays for Blonstein

September 11, 1998|MIKE BRESNAHAN

College recruiters were apprehensive about Nevada Blonstein's ankle and back injuries, so the Notre Dame High senior setter began a grueling workout schedule.

Sometimes she rises at 4:45 a.m., other days, she begins her workout at 9 p.m. Squats, bench press, more squats, more bench press.

In less than a month of working with Mark Hoffman, a pro beach volleyball athletic trainer, Blonstein has added four pounds of muscle and lost 5% body fat.

Blonstein's training began shortly after the Junior Olympics in June, where she was hampered in front of several college coaches because of torn ligaments in her right ankle.

"I was very scared of my ankle at the time," Blonstein said. "A lot of coaches didn't get to see me at my peak."

In addition to lifting weights, the 5-foot-7 Blonstein improved her diet, which consists of more chicken and vegetables and fewer trips to fast-food restaurants.

Blonstein has since received a scholarship offer from Boston College.

"I now know my muscles are strong enough so I can play and go to college," Blonstein said. "My bad-luck streak's over."

*

Kelly Greathouse can play basketball, but can she play volleyball?

If preliminary indications are accurate, the Buena High basketball standout will excel as a middle blocker.

Greathouse, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, is rapidly picking up the details of volleyball despite only playing at the recreational level before this season.

"I tell you what, it's just scary to see how good she's going to be at the sport," Buena Coach Jack Richards said. "She's going to be a terror.

"I told her, 'This year, you're not going to play a whole lot, but I promise you, you're going to be in the paper a lot [for volleyball] the next couple of years.' "

*

The Royal High program never has a problem keeping players.

Assistant coaches are another matter.

Mike Bisutti and Tom Black each accepted head coaching jobs elsewhere in the last few months.

Black will coach the L.A. Baptist girls this fall and the Thousand Oaks boys in the spring; Bisutti will coach the La Canada boys.

Said Royal Coach Bob Ferguson: "I'm impressed. It's nice to know they're picking people out of my program. It's good news."

The Top 10

Preseason rankings of regional volleyball teams

*--*

Rk School (League) 1. Harvard-Westlake (Mission) 2. Royal (Marmonte) 3. Calabasas (Frontier) 4. Flintridge Scrd Hrt (Mission) 5. Granada Hills (Northwest Vly) 6. Westlake (Marmonte) 7. Buena (Channel) 8. Alemany (Mission) 9. La Reina (Tri-Valley) 10. Village Christian (Alpha)

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