The Grade 8 girls volleyball season started off swiftly, with 26 girls committing to team try outs. After three tryout sessions, coaches Mrs. Benfeld and I, along with Grade 11 volleyball superstars Silke and Thana, shuffled the girls into two teams, Team White and Team Blue.
With only one practice before their big opening game, Team White learned a brand new 4-2 volleyball system and executed it seamlessly in their first couple of matches on Wednesday night. While the girls didn’t win, I was extremely impressed at how fast they caught on to the new system, and I’m excited about helping them expand their understanding of the great game of volleyball and teaching them the FUNdamentals. I believe it is important to develop an early understanding of sportsmanship and teamwork, and focus on improving together throughout the season.
With Week 1 finished, White Team looks forward to four more weeks of the season before playoffs commence. The Blue Team looks forward to their three big Jamboree games on February 4, 18 and 25!
The main goals of the season are staying focused and working hard in practice to develop FUNdamental skills, while having FUN learning and improving together. I’m looking forward to a thrilling year, girls!
Reflections from Grade 8 Athletes
“It’s nice to be part of a team with people from your class; it’s a good time. I like the sport this year because we’re learning about set positions, like bumper or setter. Right now I’m power, which means you’re the last person to touch the ball by spiking it or hitting it. It’s my third year being on the volleyball team; we put in a lot of work throughout the year, so it’s really rewarding at the end when you either do really well or come out in a good position and you get to do it with close friends and you’re representing your school. My other sports are soccer and field hockey, which are very similar because they’re both positional play, with a lot of running; one’s with a stick and one’s with your feet. But volleyball’s a lot different; there’s not as much running as there is tactics, and it’s very mechanical. It’s interesting and a lot of fun learning.” –
“I started playing volleyball on the school team in Grade 6 because it was something new to try, and I just ended up liking it. I also play basketball and softball, and I’m in cross country, and I like that volleyball’s so different from the other sports I play. I like the satisfaction when your team works together because you have to depend on each other to get the ball over the net, so it feels good when you work together.” –
“I played on the Grade 6 team and the Grade 7 team, but this is the first year where I’m playing competitively; it’s the first year of taking it really seriously for me, and I think I want it to be my second sport. I just think volleyball is such an interesting sport. Some people perceive it as just smacking a ball over a net, but it’s so much more. We just learned to spike, which is by far my favourite part, and we’re learning positions. It requires so much talent that people don’t expect. I’m quite a competitive person, so getting to play games competitively is really a plus for me. However we do in the games, I’m just glad we get the opportunity to face off against other schools. Because we’re still in Grade 8, but it is a competitive team, everyone’s in the same spot; everybody’s just generally learning together, and everything new that you learn you get to absorb as a team, and I think that’s a great aspect. Even though we lost this week, it just makes everyone more excited to be able to practice. One game doesn’t set your season; we have a chance to improve and learn more, and everyone’s going to take it and everyone’s going to be excited for it.” –
“I like how everybody has to work together in volleyball; it’s really fun. Being on the competitive team is definitely a big commitment. You have to make sure you make each practice, and the games are more competitive and more intense. We’re learning a lot of new things, too, like we’ve learned a new type of rotation. I like learning new and more complicated things in volleyball because it’s a change to what we’re used to and it gives us a new opportunity to show our skills in different ways. It’s really fun to be with your friends because, say you’re outside of school on the weekend and you’re bored, we can get together and play volleyball!” –
See photos of the Grade 8 girls volleyball team in action on the SMUS Photo Gallery.