Elizabeth Lavin (far left, #1) is pictured here with the MSMC Volleyball team at a game held at Oneonta on August 29, 2014.
I’ve been playing volleyball since I was in 7th grade and played at the varsity level starting my sophomore year of high school. I flipped between being an Outside Hitter and a Middle Hitter, which is something I still do today. Upon entering my senior year of high school, I was hesitant when deciding whether or not I should try to continue playing in college. Today, I know I made the right decision to play volleyball at the collegiate level.
There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to create what is portrayed on the court at volleyball games. The season runs from the middle of August until mid-November. The entire team, including the freshmen recruits, move in a week earlier than everyone else for preseason. Preseason is the longest week out of the entire year for me. We move in on a Sunday afternoon, have a three-hour practice that night and follow a practice schedule of 9 am-12 pm and 7 pm-10 pm every day for the rest of that week. Once preseason is over, we follow a regular practice schedule of 7 pm-9 pm every night except for Saturdays (which are always game days) and Sundays.
Every Saturday normally consists of a tri-match. A tri-match is when two teams come to one school and all three teams play each other that day. Therefore, our Saturdays involve playing two volleyball games. If I have away games on a Saturday, it means that I get to enjoy a nice, early morning nap on the bus ride while munching on a buttered bagel. Every Saturday morning is an early morning since games normally start at 11 am.
Despite all the craziness of preseason, practice every evening, and waking up early every Saturday, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Why? Because I get to see my amazing friends while playing the sport I love almost every day. The Mount Saint Mary College volleyball team is my second family. We all spend so much time together, which only makes us all closer. Whenever I am having a rough day with schoolwork or just life in general, I know at 7 pm that night, all my worries won’t seem as bad. My teammates have accepted my crazy personality and have done nothing but put a smile on my face whenever I’m around them. I didn’t think it was possible to love a team as much as I love mine.
Volleyball to me is just something unexplainable. The minute I step out onto that court I feel as if nothing in the world matters anymore. I know that seems a little overdramatic and unrealistic, but I can assure you that any athlete who loves his or her sport would agree with me. I really hope one day everyone can find their true love in a sport and share it with a team just as amazing as mine.
To learn more about the Mount’s Division III athletic program, please visit msmcknights.com.
Elizabeth Lavin, Class of 2017, is a psychology major from Hicksville, NY.