The UTM women’s volleyball team began their season with a tough loss to Scarborough. But instead of sulking, the team came together in practice. Focussing on their weaknesses, they spent some tough hours together in an effort to eliminate the problems that had plagued them in the first loss.
Of course, hard work isn’t unfamiliar for volleyball players at UTM. The teams practise on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday each week in addition to their games. This is especially impressive because this year’s team is very young. The majority of the team’s 17 players are in their first or second year. Balancing work, school, and a rigorous sport schedule can be very demanding. Fortunately, they have a great deal of leadership to ensure that the young players understand the importance of practice and staying focussed on the goals for the season.
The players rebounded in their second outing with a decisive victory over the St. George Gold. They won the first game 25–19, lost a close second game 25–23, and finished off with a 25–21 win. The third game was an especially spirited affair, as an injury to starting middle outside hitter Gelaina Whitney stopped the game for 45 minutes. She was taken to the hospital with ligament or meniscus damage to her knee.
Coach Stew Arevalo praised the resilience of the team, calling the effort “valiant”. They were trailing 11–8 when the injury took place, and after the long break they were able to rally from behind and get the win.
After a rough start to the season, UTM’s young team was able to show that it has the focus required to remain competitive throughout the season.