Springfield volleyball has taught me not only how to work hard, but also the value of teamwork. As NBA coach Phil Jackson said, "The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team." Throughout our season we have relied on one another to keep the ball alive or to be supportive when a mistake was made. From freshman year on, I noticed an improvement in our record as the team began to be more competitive and well-matched with most teams in the central league. In my junior year, we fell one place short of making playoffs. Six other seniors and I made it our goal to make playoffs during my senior year. We started training throughout the summer, we perfected plays, and we created a mindset where there was no other option but playoffs.
From learning over the years, we knew it was key to have a well-connected team that consisted of a multitude of team bonding activities and supportive comments during games. This year we had some fantastic freshmen players who took on a huge role for us in the varsity games. The team stayed positive amid a few difficult losses, however, we noticed that the season was not over yet. Positivity was a huge factor and so was focusing on the minor mistakes that were costing us games. Our coach curated a variety of lineups to ensure that we had the best opportunity to win the upcoming games.
Towards the end of the season, our victory over Harriton not only earned us a place in the playoffs, but it bumped us up a place to play Villa Maria. This was the first time in ten years that Springfield Volleyball has ever made it to playoffs. The achievement was thrilling, but we were now ready to face number two seed Villa Maria. In three tough sets, we lost the match to Villa Maria. Although we came up short to Villa, it remained a significant accomplishment to make playoffs. The teamwork and determination exemplified by my team has taught me a great deal about volleyball and the power of working as one.
Written by Emily Gowman, #11