While everyone knows it takes incredible athletic skill, consistent training, and plenty of hard work to achieve a championship season, many people don’t realize that the social side of a team is equally as important as the physical work. The highly successful Seattle Prep Varsity Volleyball Team has prepared socially, emotionally, and physically for this season, and their hard work has been paying off.
Coach Marcene Sullivan explained, “They have what we call, a ‘shark mentality’–really working on the mindset–and I think they’ve bought into that and enjoyed it and had fun with it at the same time.”
Whether it is practice or a game, the girls come to the court everyday “searching for blood” and bettering themselves and their teammates, preparing for anything that is thrown at them. Senior Ave Kitiona added, “I think we all want to play well for each other, and always want to play our best.”
The community that the volleyball team has built is one of inclusion, dedication, teamwork, support, and trust. Senior Lauren Brant shared, “We have a lot of talented players on our team this year, but underlying that talent is perseverance and passion. We all get along super well so it makes it easier to communicate effectively.”
When teammates are also good friends, it creates a dynamic where players are excited and to learn from mistakes without being embarrassed. Sophomore Téa Bosanac further described the importance of making a social impact off the court, “Our team created such a strong bond through practicing and seeing each other every day; but, more than anything, we have become stronger by making an effort outside of volleyball.” Bosanac gave examples of how little things improve team chemistry, such as eating team dinners before games, talking on the plaza before school, or even just saying “hi” in the hallways.
Another special aspect of this year’s Seattle Prep volleyball team is its outstanding senior class. Bosanac applauded them, saying, “I think our senior class is so positive on and off the court. As someone new to Prep and the Prep volleyball team, having welcoming and kind people has really helped me feel loved. They are also people I look up to because they are such hard workers. Seeing them go for it every day, and getting to play with them is a lot of fun.”
It is the seniors’ job to be leaders; therefore, it is not surprising how the rest of this team carries themselves with such strong examples to emulate. Coach Sullivan expands on how influential and compatible the seniors are. “They all bring different gifts and qualities to our team, and their personalities just mesh really well together. They complement each other really well.”
On and off the court, the volleyball team has worked hard to achieve their goals. Although they are still looking to add even more accomplishments, this season is already worthy of pride and admiration. When Kitiona was asked how she would describe the team in one word, she simply replied, “SHARKS – no explanation needed.”