What Is it Like to Be On the Volleyball Team?

The SPHS varsity volleyball team has lots to do to prepare for their games.


Sarah Sternhagen

The SPHS volleyball team starts practicing from the middle of August and goes until November. “Just the mental aspect of keeping at the top of your game is the toughest thing,” Dunbar said. The team needs to focus on their training, and for long term practice and games the ability to stay focused is necessary. Because volleyball doesn’t have a time limit, matched skill levels can make games go for two hours or more, it makes the mental endurance for the players to constantly be at the top of their game a necessary skill.

Sarah Sternhagen, Staff Writer

Sports are a large part of SPHS students’ lives. With dozens of different sports teams, the season is packed with practice and games. Volleyball, one of the fall season sports, requires lots of dedication.

“Practice time actually is limited by the county,” Timothy Dunbar, Head Volleyball Coach said. “Our practice is two hours long.”

After school practice can only go for two hours, but on a Saturday or a weekday without school they could go longer. However, the volleyball team sticks to the two hours. It helps them focus the entire practice and get the most out of the time they have to work with their teammates. 

“What I practice the most is my defense,” Maggie Sale, senior and varsity co-captain said, “You have to make that quick, instant reaction.” Since she plays outside, Sale contributes to the team’s defense by blocking.

To get a point, you have to get the ball to hit the ground in your opponent’s court. The volleyball team trains their legs, arms and core to move efficiently to keep the other team from scoring. Defense plays a key role in getting the ball up into the air for the offensive players to spike into the opponent’s court. A serve recieve is the perfect opportunity to set that up.

“We just have like, the other girls serve at us so that we can get reps for our own team,” Sara Mahmud, senior and varsity co-captain said. Mahmud is a defensive specialist, so practicing against serves is a must for her.

The team plays six-on-six matches against each other to train their defensive skills. It helps them see what they need to improve on, including serving themselves.

“I get to serve every single time I go in,” Mahmud said. “But when I go in sometimes I don’t get to touch the ball other than that.”

Serving well can be a huge advantage, so the team trains for them. Both to hit good serves, and receive them. If the team can receive a serve well, then it sets them up for opportunities to score, but first they have to know who will do what. In a game working against gravity, those decisions need to be made fast.

“Communicating is a really big skill,” Ava Meadows, a junior who plays opposite, said.

With six players on the court all trying to keep the ball in the air, communication is key. Everyone needs to know who will receive, set and then spike the ball. The close bond the players have with each other helps massively. 

 “Our whole team motivates each other really well,” Meadows said. 

With so much practice time and effort put into their skills, the varsity volleyball team has to rely on each other often. Both to play the game, and to keep enjoying the sport. Of course, winning the game is still the objective.

“When it’s a really tight game and you have those long rallies, and then we win the rally, just the energy and the momentum that comes out of that is just the best feeling,” Sale said. “It’s just so good.”

The varsity volleyball team trains hard and plays hard. Their teamwork and dedication is something to be admired.