Volleyball players give greater insight into the sport


Hannah Patnode

Akins volleyball Varsity squares off against Del Valle

Volleyball has always been a more demanding sport in today’s climate, that is to say that the volleyball team at Akins high-school is no exception. Every sport has hardships and highlights for each season and the Akins volleyball team has its share of highs and lows.
However, the players and head coach say what matters most is how the team manages their time not only at the games but also in practice.
Volleyball is a sport that requires not only physical skills but also communication. Junior Mallory Liu, who plays on the varsity team, said she appreciates the heart that the team shows when it plays.
“We have heart going into every game,” she said. “We play to our best ability and we don’t have a lot of our girls who play club volleyball, but they still are amazing players and they still have so much heart.” Volleyball is a very communicative sport and is also very fast and easy to make mistakes. Head Volleyball Coach Mandy Thomas, said Akins players have work hard because they are often don’t have a lot of experience from playing with private club teams from younger ages. “The hardest thing to overcome here at Akins is we have kids that have never played volleyball before, whereas other schools in

our district play club (volleyball) year-round,” she said. “So we’re having to teach the skill of volleyball starting at ninth grade instead of where other schools are playing club and beginning between third and fifth grade.” Thomas said Akins competes in one of the toughest districts in the state, but that doesn’t mean Akins can’t beat other teams. She said it can be frustrating at times when the team is struggling in the middle of a match. “But it’s not to say in the second round that we can bounce back and beat them,” she said.
Liu said the season started off rough, but the team is improving and performing better every game.
Senior Emily McDaniel said one of the biggest challenges in volleyball is dealing with the mental stress.
“You can beat yourself up for how you play,” she said.
McDaniel said she enjoys playing a sport like volleyball in which teamwork is so important.
“I like the friendships that you make with the girls,” she said. “It’s like, you go through the same things and it makes you have a stronger bond.” ”It started off rough. But we are we are getting there and we are striving and we become better every game. We learn how they play, and we play to our ability. Even though we do have some we do. We have played some bad games and we know that and we are striving to be a better team together and play as the best we can play together in what we have left of this season. “ Like all sports, it can definitely be a challenge towards any players mental health. Volleyball is no exception.
Senior Emily McDaniel shared what it’s like dealing with mentality during vital plays within a game.
“The mental stuff. You can get really hard and like beat yourself up for how you play”. Emily also shared why she likes being a part of a team based sport “I like I like the friendships that you make with the girls. It’s like, you go through the same things and it makes you have a stronger bond.”