The Bruins volleyball team has formed a particularly strong bond this season, and this focus on teamwork has enabled them to win the regional championship and participate in the national tournament.
Women’s volleyball coach Vicky Denny said the team’s success was only because of each team member’s striving for excellence and commitment to bringing glory to God.
“Our ultimate goal is to know Him, and to honor Him and praise Him,” Denny said. “God’s blessed us this season. We’ve had probably a better season than I would have anticipated as relates to wins and losses, but beyond that, just a really good spirit.”
Denny said the team has had very few of what she calls ‘humps in the road’ this season. “I attribute it to a group of young ladies who really do have a heart for the Lord,” she said. “We’re not perfect, and we’ll have little issues, but nothing of any real consequence. I think that’s allowed us to play more as a team.”
Denny saw the team make whatever adjustments were necessary to support each other, and she said it was only because of the work of God in them.
“Everybody has really accepted the role they have,” Denny said. “Sometimes roles change during the season, [but] even when that happens, I feel like our team has really bought into the idea of just ‘let’s be unified through knowing Christ.’ If we’re really developing a relationship with the Lord–and that’s our main goal–then all this other stuff falls into place.”
Rachel Williams is the only graduating senior on the team this year, and she said she is going to miss her teammates. “I spend at least four hours a day with them every day,” she said. “I see those girls more than anybody else, and I’ll miss the community, the family that I have in them and the encouragement that they bring.”
Williams said the team is doing very well supporting each other this year, which will increase their chances of winning at nationals. “Our team is clicking very well,” she said. “We’re playing up to our potential right now, so I’m very optimistic going into the tournament.”
She said the team is so successful because they trust one another, and they push each other to get better.
Williams said competing in nationals will be a good experience for the team, no matter the outcome.
“Nationals is a different type of stage,” she said. “There’s a lot more pressure, and you’re playing against better competition, so there’s the opportunity to learn from your mistakes. Games where we are pushed, whether we win or lose, are the biggest growing experiences.”
Jamie Grimes, a sophomore on the team, said the team has done such a good job this year of watching out for each other and perfecting their defensive strategies. She said the team has not reached a level of perfection, but they have worked hard to become better than ever before.
“Having fun is doing hard things well,” she said. “My favorite things are not that we’re so concerned about volleyball, but that we’re concerned about the spiritual aspect.”
Grimes said that the attitude, character and spiritual growth of the volleyball team is what really matters, especially since those areas of life manifest themselves on the court.
Today, the Bruins will be facing the Eagles from Emmaus Bible College as a part of the NCCAA Division II National Tournament. The match will take place in the Davis Field House at noon.