Putney Adds Volleyball, Spring Rowing to Competitive Sports

This spring students at Putney will now have the option to compete in volleyball for the first time. Rowing, which has traditionally been a fall sport at Putney, has also been added to the spring roster.

The two new offerings speak to the school’s commitment and focus on providing students with competitive activities that challenge students by helping them grow physically, emotionally and socially.

English teacher Nathan Zweig, who will serve as the volleyball coach, said volleyball is a team sport that requires total collaboration.

“It’s not a sport where two or three strong players can carry a team. Everyone on the court is important and essential,” Zweig said. “Consequently, the nature of the sport requires constant communication, interdependence, and mutual support. Putney students already tend to be strong in these areas, so volleyball reinforces these skills, which will help them off the court as well.”

When it comes to rowing, in the past Putney has offered the program in the fall when conditions are usually beautiful and mellow.

“At Putney we face a challenge in getting out on the river every spring,” said history teacher Kristin Dawley, who is coaching rowing along with Head Coach Mwanga Williams and Assistant Coach Abby Lively. “Rowing on the Connecticut River, we’re subject to the melting snows and stream runoff.”

While it’s important to use caution when going out on fast moving water, many rowing programs focus their training on the spring season, when races are usually shorter, she said. And Putney is now ready to join them.

“We have a really committed group of athletes who are eager for a spring season!” Dawley said.

Putney offers a sculling program in which athletes row in singles, doubles, and every so often quadruple sculls. The first race will be the weekend of April 29-30 for the Saratoga Invitational. Water temperatures may be frigid, but students are ready.

“Living in Vermont we find ways to enjoy our spring sports,” Dawley said, “and that usually means being willing to be out in the cold weather.”

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