The Union College Warriors volleyball team will kick off the season with a home game Thursday at 7:00 p.m. in the Union College Gymnasium against Manhattan Christian College from Manhattan, Kans.
After nine seasons of coaching women’s volleyball at Union, head coach Ric Spaulding is just as excited for this season as the first even though the early start made assembing a team difficult. “Tryouts were a bit of a challenge because girls had to come a week before New Student Orientation to try out,” he explained. And with more than half the roster this season made up of freshman, Spaulding believes “we have an excellent team this year.”
For Spaulding, helping his team develop leadership skills, perseverance and teamwork are just as important as learning to bump, set and spike on the court. With up to five practices a week and team bonding activities before and throughout the season, he hopes to help the team grow together, as well as empower them to make a difference. During Project Impact, the annual service day in September when the entire campus takes the day off from school to serve the community, the Warriors volunteer at the same site. Whether cleaning toilets or painting the sides of a building, the team learns to work together. “To me, it is important to do stuff for other people,” said Spaulding.
Shaina Adams, sophomore social work major, enjoyed the social and athletic components that came with being on the team last year. “It connected me with girls I wouldn’t have met otherwise and I made some wonderful friends,” she said. “It was a stress reliever, and we had so much fun playing and travelling together. Volleyball is a good reminder that even though we are in college and classes can get overwhelming, it is important to take time out to do something you love.”
Be a part of the fun and cheer for the Warriors this Thursday at 7:00 p.m. in the Union College Gymnasium or watch the live webcast on UCLive (or later on demand).