Charlie Fuerbringer is girls’ volleyball player of the year

Cam Green felt frustration building as his Manhattan Beach Mira Costa girls’ volleyball players weren’t quite finding the right groove in passing drills.

For example, at a late-season practice session, the coach pulled his passers-by aside and delivered a simple message: you don’t have to be perfect.

You just have to be nearby.

“Because we have the setter,” Green recalled telling his team, “that can make everything else better.”

It’s a heavy burden for a player to carry. But Mira Costa junior Charlie Fuerbringer was born with Olympian athletics and grew up a student of the game, developing a volleyball IQ that has to be seen to believe. For her unparalleled importance to a Mira Costa program advancing to a CIF Open Division Regional Final, she was named Girls’ Volleyball Player of the Year by The Times.

These intangibles stem in large part from a family of volleyball kings. Her father, Matt Fuerbringer, was a former pro beach player and All-American at Stanford who currently serves as an assistant on the US men’s national team. Her mother, Joy Fuerbringer, was an All-American setter and head coach at Long Beach State. Uncle David McKienzie played for the US national team at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Charlie Fuerbringer dives to dig during a club practice session.

Charlie Fuerbringer, who recently did a dig during a club training session, is not only a top setter but also a solid server and blocker.

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

“Just being surrounded by the culture … growing up with that knowledge helps my IQ so much,” Fürbringer said.

She’s a brilliant setter, making hitters around her better by placing balls in perfect spots or confusing opposing blockers with backtaps. But the 5-foot-11 Fuerbringer also showed a dominant all-around game last season, stepping up for key blocks and serves in tight games.

When Mira Costa took on LA Marymount earlier in the season, a team they hadn’t beaten in Green’s five-year tenure, Fuerbringer stepped up and stopped a strike from powerful Marymount winger Torrey Stafford. With the Mustangs down 22-14 in the fourth set that looked like an impending loss to Redondo Union, there was Fuerbringer, who led a comeback and sealed the set with a monster block.

“She has a kind of mode in her that’s like, ‘You’re just not going to hit me today,'” Green said.

Mira Costa missed her goal of taking home a Southern Section championship by one game, Chatsworth Sierra Canyon swept her for the Division 1 title. But after defeating the Trailblazers in the Open Division regional semifinals, the Mustangs made it 2022 did what no other team could: beat a great San Diego Cathedral team in the regional finals.

Green has told Fuerbringer on several occasions that she can exit Mira Costa – a program that has produced former Olympians like Holly McPeak – as the tallest player in the school’s history.

“I know that’s a huge statement and some people might freak out about it,” Green said, “but I can’t think of a player who can do everything she can.” Charlie Fuerbringer is girls’ volleyball player of the year

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