Being dominant and undefeated in last year’s fall season, Chicago’s Brooks Varsity Volleyball squad moved their ranking up and are now playing against more competitive teams. Most of the girls are already used to traveling throughout Illinois for club, or AAU volleyball, where they develop their competitiveness by playing some of the top teams in the US. The girls then bring this mentality back to Brooks.
"We played at a lower level, which might have stifled our idea of competition,” captain and setter, Sydney Atoyebi says.
A person who thinks of volleyball may think that the game is just putting the ball over the net. It is, but.. there are many more steps and skills that are required for the game. The players have shown this by showcasing on the Brooks court in front of a faithful audience, that it takes, just like any other sport, hustle and heart to play this game. Leaving the crowd in awe at how they hustle for every point but may end up losing/winning a match to a team that isn’t necessarily at their skill level.
Lately, the Brooks team has competed against rivals, Payton and Kennedy. Losing to not only both rivals, but also their other three 2013 Conference games, the team seems as though they aren’t as competitive as the school thinks. The team notices that the opponents they are playing against, don’t have the skills that match up with Brooks’. From personal experience of sitting in on team meetings, the girls have set goals for using their individual skills and competitiveness to come together as a team to win, and even win City and State Champs.
“The goal for the year is to play as a unit instead of as individuals because in volleyball, you rely heavily on your teammates,” Atoyebi claims. Having new teammates on the Varsity squad, it may be easy to adjust to the new personalities on the team, but not to how everyone plays. “I think for the most part we play well, but there is always a deciding factor and it should never be that way if everyone gives it their all,” she adds. Being optimistic is how they will stay alive on the court, according to the team.
The girls have four more Conference games to go. As stated before, Varsity clearly has heart, hustle, and skill. They have gotten their start on working as a team, but will their heart for the game keep them rising and defeat other teams that have the same goa