Having just six returning volleyball players, the future of the team was a matter of concern. In an exciting turn of events, the volleyball team recruited eight new, enthusiastic, and skilled volleyball players.
While adding eight rookies is necessary and beneficial to the team in the long run, it often has a detrimental side- effect on team chemistry. This was a major fear entering the season, but after winning the season opener on September 4 after simply two team practices, the volleyball team proved that they are a force to be reckoned with. “I am so proud that we were able to find the chemistry needed for our first game. We all worked together and cheered each other on, which helped us stay focused and confident,” said captain, Moriah Green, SCW ’13.
Before try-outs, the six returning players traveled to pre-season training camp where they went on daily runs and worked on their volleyball skills. Unfortunately, as injuries began to take a toll on the players, only three athletes remained fit for practice. This rocky start to the season left the women feeling unsettled about their upcoming season. But the players quickly shook off their doubts. “We were not going to let pre-season determine how we play in the games to come. Even with only three players, we still trained hard,” said, Jackie Berger, SCW 14’. After a pause, Berger added, “You just always need to have a positive attitude.”
Unfortunately, volleyball’s troubles continued. Five new players had trouble submitting medical forms, banning them from practicing and playing in their first game. Ineligibility, however, did not stop these rookies from cheering for and supporting their teammates from the sidelines. “I was really happy to see that they kept an upbeat attitude on the bench, because it really helped us win the game, and even though they didn’t play, they still helped with the win,” noted Green.
“I was so happy to see the smiles and support of my teammates off the court. All of our games, except for one, are all away games, which means we will have no support in the stands from family and friends. Our team is our support system for the season, and I am so happy that they are there for us,” adds Berger. The players’ optimistic outlook will ensure that the Maccabees’ current season will be a success.
With the season ending in October, the team has a full schedule of games with a single break during the week for Shabbat. The determining factor of whether Volleyball can consistently win games will be if the players can physically and mentally balance their rigorous classes and volleyball commitment. “Winning the first game of the season will definitely give us the momentum we need to pull another win,” Green said.
At the same time, the game-opener win is not getting to players’ heads. This is merely the beginning of a long, demanding season in which the athletes must play their best in every game. It is great to win, but we cannot think that one win means that we do not have to play our best.