Varsity volleyball serves up another winning team with rookie players, including eighth grader Hailey Landrum and freshman Gracie Elloy.
Eighth grader Hailey Landrum is this year’s libero and the youngest player on the Varsity team. Ninth grader Gracie Elloy is this year’s outside hitter.
“It’s nerve racking to be the youngest on the team, but everyone is so nice and friendly. It's not as hard to fit in as I thought,” said Landrum.
Elloy and Landrum describe their friendships with the older girls as tight and supportive of each other. The team’s strong connection builds long lasting friendships.
Being the youngest on the team creates challenges as well. As starting players, Landrum and Elloy find that there is more added pressure. Landrum says getting the right mindset is key to playing a successful game.
“Getting your self confidence up is really important because if you don’t, it can become stressful in a game situation,” Elloy said.
Eighth grader Hailey Landrum passes the ball to the setter during pre-game warmups.
This year’s team captains include junior Emmalee Nichols and seniors Hadassa Davis and Finley Little. Captains serve as mentors for the team and assist the coaches Augustus Vega and Danielle Camp. They believe it’s important to help keep the girls encouraged and motivated.
Little said, “I am really glad I’m a captain this year. I remember when I was their age and how stressful it can be to do good. Hailey and Gracie are great for the team. Their energy helps all of the team, not just themselves.”
Landrum and Elloy describe their captains as encouraging and supportive, to not only themselves but to the rest of the team as a whole.
“We are playing for each other and not for anyone else’s approval during a game,” Elloy said.
Nichols said, “Aside from school, my closest friendships are the ones I have on my volleyball team.”
Gracie and Hailey like that their team is intentional in including others. Teammates pray for each other and encourage one another by communicating and offering helpful advice.
“The most important thing I have learned is to be a leader, even if you're not a captain, and make the first move,” Landrum said.
The Varsity team recognizes that being a leader is key to building a great team. The players feel encouragement and motivation will take them far in this season.
“I wouldn’t trade anything for the friendships I have on this team,” Davis said.