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Relationships key to volleyball success

The smell of sweat engulfs the athletes on the court. It is the fifth game and the winner of this match will be determined by intensity, energy and love for the game. The ball slams to the ground and the campus varsity volleyball team defeated Tranquility in five games on Oct. 23.

The girls seemed to thrive on pressure situations. When the game is on the line, many have viewed it as an opportunity to prove what they can do. Yet, close games often come with a migraine.

“Our team enjoys the game being close,” Kassy Batesole, ’06, said. “We excel when every move counts. The only bad part of this is if the game is not too close we tend to slack off.”

The team’s skill and enjoyment are shown through the Christian attitudes the girls apparently are exhibiting. Their coach encourages the exhibition of Christ’s love on and off the court.

“I expect a great work ethic to represent Christ on the court,” Kasey Jensen, head varsity volleyball coach, said. “I expect them to support one another and to take both of our last two matches. I would like them to improve offensively. They need to become more aggressive. They play really well defensively; that’s where they are the strongest.”

Senior Michelle Nachtigall, ’04, has played varsity volleyball for four years. As her last year comes to a close, she has focused on developing her skills on and off the court.

“I enjoy playing volleyball, not just for the game, but also for the great group of girls on the team,” Nachtigall said. “The relationships that we get to develop are priceless, and even when volleyball fades, the relationships that we have built will always remain with us.”

The team works on constructing team dynamics in order to better the playing on the court.

“I love hanging out with the girls before the games,” Sara Weins, ’04 said. “It doesn’t matter what we do; we always have so much fun even doing the littlest things. If our relationships off the court were not as tight as they are, I think it would affect the way that we play on the court.”

The girls’ overall record is 12-8 and 8-4 in the West Sierra League. Their final matches will be against Mendota at home on Oct. 28 and at Firebaugh on Oct. 30. The seniors will be honored at the Mendota game which starts at 6 P.M. Playoff information will be listed in the student news on Nov. 1.

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