Augie alum standout coaches club volleyball team

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Jannae Mehaffey

Amy Blommer, a two sport athlete in volleyball and track, graduated from Augie in 2001. Now, after pursuing a career of sports journalism, she’s back in the Quad Cities and coaching for Iowa Select Volleyball Factory in Davenport. 
Blommer received recognition for her athletic abilities in both track and volleyball while a student at Augie. She was all-conference in volleyball three out of her four years and had all-american honors. The year she was captain, the team held the school record for most number of wins in a season. Blommer still holds the all-time school record for number of kills and digs in a single season and was inducted into the Vikings Hall of Fame. 
There is a wide range of age groups that play at Iowa Select, and Amy Blommer will be coaching one of the younger teams this upcoming year. 
As someone who played at the collegiate level and worked as a sports broadcaster, she knows just how complex the game of volleyball is. She acknowledges that coaching these younger players at Iowa Select starts with teaching them the basics of the game. 
“You can’t coach 10 and 11 year olds with the same logic as college athletes. You have to keep it fun. At the same time, they’re learning skills and learning to fall in love with the game of volleyball so that hopefully it stays with them,” Blommer said. 
Those fundamental skills and initial love for the game are important because they carry throughout a player’s career. Liesl Fowler, registrar and assistant dean at Augustana, coached the women’s volleyball team at Augustana for 10 years, and is now coaching the younger kids at Iowa Select. 
“They’ve taught me a lot about teaching fundamentals and starting at the basics, and in many ways, regardless of where you are on the developmental scale with skills, returning back to the basics and making sure your fundamentals are sound is really important,” Fowler said. 
Helping coach camps at the high performance program in the state of Iowa helped Fowler notice that even coaches at the olympic level have to return back to the fundamentals. 
“At Iowa Select, they coach the whole athlete. It’s about volleyball and getting the best players and being competitive, but it’s also about developing these young players into good human beings, and teaching them skills that you learn on the court, but also translate off the court into life,” Blommer said. 
Both Augustana athletics and Iowa Select share the philosophy that there is more to sports than just winning and losing. 
With so many Augustana coaches and alumni going on to coach at Iowa Select and some of the players at Iowa Select coming to Augustana, this relationship between the two has made a pretty significant impact on the volleyball community.
“The relationship between Augustana and Iowa Select is not an official one, but it just naturally kind of happened,” Frank Flanagan, owner of Iowa Select and assistant coach to the men and women’s volleyball team at Augustana, said. “It’s nice to see them get to give back to the game.”