Isabel Wesman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
While some Ursinus students still have yet to take their first exam, Women’s Volleyball has been busy on a kill streak, pun intended. As of September 21st, the team has racked up an impressive 10-0 match win record, already surpassing last year’s entire season record of 8-15 in just a couple weeks. Whew!
Not only does this accomplishment deserve huge recognition, but it also begs the question: what is it about this year that is bringing so much success? Is it luck, skill, or something else entirely different? Setting out to discover the driving force behind this momentum, senior co-captain Katie Cressman gives insight on how the team has come together for these back-to-back wins.
Her answer? It is all about maintaining a culture of a consistent work ethic, unity as a team, and humility during matches and with personal relationships between players off the clock. “Over the past four years I have seen UCVB grow as a program more than I can even begin to explain. My team loves and supports each other so much–we really are a family,” says Cressman. “That’s the glue [that holds the team together] and the key to success on the court right now. We don’t play for individual stats, we play for each other.” Cressman made sure to note too that the coaches have been great mentors with these changes, by looking out for the team’s health and happiness, and making sure the team is always exercising their full potential on and off the court.
Volleyball is oftentimes a sport that can get very personal very quickly. If someone makes a faulty pass, set, or hit, the blame can easily be put onto a single player, which creates uneven pressure on the team. Or conversely, if players think of themselves as the stars of the show this creates a culture of distrust and ego, leading to tension between players. For UCVB, these situations have not become a reality because of their common goals for the season. These goals include not being solely centered around physical skill and winning by the numbers. “Every year the culture has been continuously improving, but this year it really just clicked. Every single person on the team shows up excited to be in the gym and just spend time together. And no matter what anyone’s role is on the team, we all have the same mission. Win of course, but more so just push to be better each and every day and to be the most supportive group we can be,” says Cressman.
As Volleyball scored their tenth consecutive win of the season, on Tuesday September 20th at home, the team had been focusing on, quote, “unity in adversity.” Meaning that no matter the challenge–physical or mental–they would get through it together. With this mindset, along with a high level of competitive athleticism, the young women of UCVB have been able to persevere game after game.
With an enormous amount of success already under their belts this early into the season, we can expect many more great things to come from the team this year. These young women are fiercely hard working, driven, and hungry for more. Wishing them all the growth and success they deserve this year! #SKOBEARS!