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.
“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.”
https://www.latimes.com/sports/highschool/story/2022-12-12/mira-costa-charlie-fuerbringer-girls-volleyball-player-of-the-year Charlie Fuerbringer is girls’ volleyball player of the year