The women’s club volleyball team won nationals last year and are aiming to do the same in their upcoming season.
Samantha Wallace, a senior at Sonoma State, is the co-president and it is her second year on the team. As co-president, Wallace, along with other co-president Molly Armstrong, has a lot of responsibility. They work with dues, schedule games and tournaments, find referees for games, and basically coordinate everything. Wallace is the setter for the team, meaning that she takes the second ball every time and plays both front and back row.
Their practices and home games are held in the recreation center on campus. This year the team has grown to 18 players in comparison to 13 that were on the team last year. Their practices involve a thirty-minute exercise before a two-hour practice with the coaches.
While with the coaches the team works on defense and offensive drills along with the basic skills you need to play the sport well.
According to Wallace the drills “are pretty hard and I’m usually really tired, but it’s a good kind of tired.” She elaborated that the practices are also difficult, especially when practicing defense because you are constantly holding the squat position and the game itself is very fast paced.
The team’s strengths this year, according to Wallace, are that everyone is going to the practices and are very motivated to do well this season.
When asked about their weaknesses this year Wallace responded, “we are younger, so we only have 5 returners from last year and we have a lot of freshmen this year whereas last year we didn’t have any freshmen on the team.”
It is not the issue of a younger team being less skilled, but that this team runs a different defense. The difficulties they face as a team this year is being such a big group of girls who have different personalities, luckily they all have the same passion for the sport.
Since there are a lot of new girls on the team it takes time to get to know every person. Last year was Wallace’s first year on the team and a difficulty for her was “feeling confident to be a part of the team,” but otherwise she did not face a lot of difficulties and loved the experience.
The highlights of last season were the team making it to league champs, beating UC Davis, and winning Nationals in St. Louis. Wallace raved about how great the teams’ unity was.
“As a team we were really close and it was just fun, I had the time of my life with all those people,” says Wallace.
Natalia Neumann is a junior at Sonoma State and is new to the team. “I’m really excited to start my first year playing club at Sonoma State. There’s a lot of good talent on the team which makes me hopeful it’s going to be a successful season, especially with out great presidents and coaches.”
Wallace hopes that this year the team will win nationals again. Since they are in a new league this year and will be playing D1 teams it is much more competitive. The hope is to put up a fight, compete and win.
Since Sonoma State is smaller than other schools that have D1 teams, Wallace wants them to be taken as a serious competitor. Wallace, since she is in a leadership position and a senior, wants everyone on the team to feel comfortable talking to her. Her, along with Armstrong and the rest of the returners, want to create a drama free and close-knit team, similar to last years’ team.
Wallace says that the best part of being on the team is that she “loves being competitive and having an outlet for that. Working towards something, being goal oriented, and having other people who have the same mind set; I know that I am with the right people. They are just my best friends and it’s fun.”
The Women’s Club Volleyball team only has two home games this season on February 23 and March 9, so come support them at the Recreation Center.