Volleyball Set Up for Success

“People think it’s easy, but it is a very strategic game,” said senior Amber Patrick.

It is now officially fall, folks. There is the smell of pumpkin spice in the air, the trees are starting to turn a beautiful red-orange, and volleyball makes its appearance as one of the amazing sports here at Osbourn High School. Volleyball is an often underestimated sport but it is one that requires focus, precision, and a strong team bond which is not easy to achieve. Players must have strength both mentally and physically which takes a great deal of practice. 

There are many ways these players get ready for a game. Although their coach leads them through warm-ups, they often do things on their own to prepare their mind and body.

“I listen to music before the game, hang out on my phone and talk to friends. So I guess you could say that is a tradition,” said ninth grader, Maria Dorielyn Basco Tabug.

Listening to music seemed to be a common way for the players to get hyped for a game. Others get into the zone by being positive and physically preparing on their own.

“Before the game, I like to perfect my passes and try to keep focus,” said eleventh grader, Audrey Peters.

“I like to make jokes with the team to keep up the energy. I also have to get the ball at least 20 feet in the air,” added twelfth-grader, Maya Litchfield.

Their personal practice also depends on their position. Each requires more strength in certain skill sets. There are six different positions in volleyball. First, there is the opposite (right) side hitter and then the outside (left) side hitter. The outside hitter typically needs to be the team’s strongest hitter.

“As an outside hitter, I get the ball up for a set and then I hit to get a point for our team,” said Audrey.

The middle blocker often gets the short and fast sets. They must observe the other players’ moves and then try to block the ball. They do so by jumping, raising their arms above the net, and angling them downwards. If they touch the net though, they lose the point.

The setter is like the quarterback of the team. They get the ball into the air by raising their arm above their head and pushing it with their fingertips. It is very important the ball does not touch their palms because this can be seen as catching the ball, therefore resulting in the other team scoring a point.

“My position is being the setter. I always have to set the ball near the net. I’m the second hit and I make sure I hit the ball high enough for the third hit,” said Maria. 

Lastly, there is the libero and the defense specialist. The libero is the only person who gets to wear a different jersey than the other players. They must be the best passer since they specialize in receiving balls. They play five out of the six rotations. The defense specialist is similar to the libero but does not wear a different jersey and only plays 3 of the 6 rotations.

Clearly, a lot of hard work goes into making a good volleyball team, but a lot of people have the misconception that it is not as vigorous as other sports.

“People think it’s easy, but it is a very strategic game,” said senior Amber Patrick.

There is more to the game than outsiders know. Each move requires thought, precision, and communication between the team members. This game is complex and not to be underestimated.

“You cannot just hit the ball,” said Coach Suddith.

Of course, a big part of any sport is teamwork. For Osbourn’s volleyball teams, this is one of their favorite parts of the game.

“My favorite part is the team bonding and the experience I gain,” said Audrey.

“I love the team bonding in volleyball. It is nice to get to know everyone more,” added twelfth-grader Abby Fairchild.

 Which is probably the reason our teams are so great. Their sportsmanship shows greatly in their performance during games.

“It is the most successful we’ve been in a long time,” said Coach Suddith.

Overall, volleyball is a wonderful sport and Osbourn has truly dedicated players. They work very hard to do well and it shows!