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The Liberty Girls’ Volleyball Team Reflects Upon It’s Success

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The Liberty Girls’ Volleyball Team Reflects Upon It’s Success

Kelly Levering, Staff Writer

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To be a successful team requires a team chemistry greater than their opponent. For our girls volleyball team, their chemistry has not only created a family atmosphere within their program, but it also serves as the driving force to this year’s extraordinary success. Recently, the girls volleyball program has qualified for the state tournament final four. The team, while preparing for the upcoming game, reflects on the meaning of this year’s success.

In the sports community, comparison of self is commonly used for motivation, but athletes often make the mistake of comparing themselves to others – primarily their own teammates. But for the girls volleyball team, players resisted the urge to make unhealthy comparisons in order to achieve their goals. Senior Abby Erickson explains her decision to fight unhealthy comparisons and have a successful season.

“I would say the biggest reason we’re successful this season is our team culture. I think it’s really easy as an athlete to get caught up in your own stats and worried about what awards you’re going to win at the end of the season, but what sets us apart from the competition is the fact that we all genuinely care more about each other more than the numbers in the paper the next day,” Erickson says. “In years prior, I admittedly would find myself getting jealous of others for winning certain awards or reaching certain stat milestones, but this year I can’t help but get excited for my teammates when they go out and do amazing things on the court.”

The team’s collective decision has thus allowed the girls to have an unforgettable season for themselves, going farther than years prior to this season.

Erickson recounts her past season outcomes, “The past two years we lost in districts to teams we should have beaten, and my freshman year was the first time my team ever won districts.”

Not only has the team’s chemistry been a contributing factor in their success, but the girls have also grown into their necessary roles. Junior Sarah Rausch described the positive effects these role assignments had on the team.

“Another thing is that there are different types of leaders on and off the court and that is huge for us which leads into the next thing that we can lean on each other in hard situations,” Rausch explains.

“Recently, in these last two games we were able to all lean on each other to help get back on track.”

Despite the volleyball team’s great success, they still had to overcome quite a few obstacles this season. As Erickson explains, the team wasn’t only battling the opponents this year.

“The biggest obstacle for this season was illness, injury, and end of season fatigue,” Erickson claims. “We’ve had some unfortunate injuries in the past which got in the way of some of our goals, and this year was no different. From Taylor Karlo’s PKD diagnosis early this summer, to Grace (Clark’s) unfortunate mono just a week ago, and all the bruises, sprains, and tendonitis-es in between, we haven’t had it easy.”

But no matter the challenges this team may face, their resiliency and team chemistry continue to be their back-bone.

Rausch adds to this statement by stating, “We have had many people out with injuries and illnesses and that affects what we do in practice, but those who are injured and sick play through it and really contribute to the team’s success during games.”

Looking to the upcoming final four game, the team is training and expecting a great game from both ends of the court.

“No matter what happens Friday I could not be prouder of my teammates and this program as a whole,” Erickson says. “What we have been able to do so far despite everything against us is nothing short of amazing. That being said, Friday is going to be a challenge. Ursuline Academy is the defending state champion, and they are currently ranked number one in the state. However, time and time again, this team has proved that we can stand up to any challenge put before us, that we can hang with the best. I expect it to be a great game.”

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The Liberty Girls’ Volleyball Team Reflects Upon It’s Success