Katie Carter, a 2003 Steamboat Springs High School graduate, will put on a volleyball camp Saturday and Sunday along with her husband, Hector Gutierrez, and high school coach Wendy Hall. Carter, who played at UCLA and professionally in Spain, just came off of her rookie year on the AVP beach volleyball circuit.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Katie Carter, a 2003 Steamboat Springs High School graduate, will put on a volleyball camp Saturday and Sunday along with her husband, Hector Gutierrez, and high school coach Wendy Hall. Carter, who played at UCLA and professionally in Spain, just came off of her rookie year on the AVP beach volleyball circuit.

Volleyball camp this weekend

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If you go

What: Inaugural Winter Volleyball Camp

When: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for grades six through eight and 1 to 3 p.m. for high school players Saturday and Sunday

Where: Kelly Meek Gymnasium at Steamboat Springs High School

Cost: $30 for two-day session

Even as Steamboat Springs High School’s most decorated volleyball player, Katie Carter can’t believe how much the sport has grown in the decorated ski town.

When the 2003 graduate was in school, there were few out-of-season options for players.

But if there are two things that have always stuck with Carter, they are her love for volleyball and her love for Steamboat.

That’s why, along with her husband, Hector Gutierrez, and high school coach Wendy Hall, Carter will put on the Inaugural Winter Volleyball Camp on Saturday and Sunday.

The camp will run from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for sixth- through eighth-graders and from 1 to 3 p.m. for high school players each day.

The camp will be held in the Kelly Meek Gymnasium. Any players interested in attending should show up before the start time. The cost is $30.

“I think over the years I’ve always wanted to do something when I’ve had time,” said Carter, who just wrapped up her rookie season on the AVP beach volleyball circuit. “I wanted to do something over the summer at the sand courts in Howelsen. But with the AVP season, there was never a time for me to come out here. So I figured this was the time.”

The camp will focus on fundamentals for the middle school groups, and the high school session will focus on advanced techniques and sets.

Carter and Gutierrez met while playing professional volleyball in Spain. The two now coach multiple teams in California, and Gutierrez helps train Carter for the beach volleyball season.

During her rookie season on the AVP Tour, Carter made three main draws. She said she thinks next year will be her big year. She’s still looking for a partner and said she’ll resume training for next season in January.

But until then, Carter said she’s excited to give back to Steamboat.

“I remember when I was most of these girls’ ages, no one really played volleyball,” she said. “There wasn’t a club program in the city. It just wasn’t really that big. It’s really cool now, this club they have going.”

It’s also an added benefit that Gutierrez will be helping out, Carter said.

Gutierrez played 12 years professionally in Spain and said the teaching techniques were much different in the two countries.

In Spain, Gutierrez said, they try to teach a wide range of techniques to a wide range of athletes. In the United States, Gutierrez said, the first thing often looked at is how tall a player is.

“When I first got here and started coaching, they wanted more athletes on the team,” Gutierrez said. “They didn’t care if you’re good. They cared if you’re 6 feet or 6 feet 1. We practice in a different way. We’re more technical.”

Carter said she hopes to make the camp a tradition, even bringing back some of the girls she played with in high school.

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