Inside SU volleyball: Sea Gulls hit CAC play, mentor young players

Senior Jenna Shay is in her fourth year on the Salisbury University volleyball team. She graduated from Northern High School in Owings, Md., and is a native of Dunkirk. As an opposite hitter, she has been a mainstay on the Sea Gulls' front line throughout her career. This season, she will bring a behind-the-scenes look at Salisbury volleyball with blogs that take us into the lockerroom, the huddle and on the road with the team.

Last week we had our first in-conference game against York College. It always seems like when we are playing a team that is in our conference the intensity and excitement is always a little bit higher. York has always been a very strong opponent so we prepared hard during practices for this match. All the girls and I were ready and eager and were able to come out very strong. We couldn't have been happier with our 3-0 win, which has hopefully set the stage for the rest of our in-conferences games.

This weekend we also had our first home tournament. To prepare for the tournament the team got together for a homemade dinner after practice on Thursday. After the meal, we got to hear one of coach's many crazy and fun stories about her three rescued cats. This story involved smashing several holes in the wall of her house to find her lost cat, Spock. Dinner was a lot of fun! It was awesome having the chance to spend time with the whole team outside of volleyball.

Friday was game day; we played two matches against two very good teams. On Saturday we had two more tough games. We came out of the weekend undefeated and tournament champions. After our last game on Saturday we had our annual team picnic. The team and our families got together at the pavilion behind Sea Gull Square to have a barbeque, celebrate and enjoy our time together.

My teammates and I always seem to stay busy not only with games, practices and classes but also with community service. Each season we chose one community service project to hold. In the past we have had a "Dig Pink" game to raise money for breast cancer and last year we partnered with the women's softball team to hold "Pump for Jenny" where we raised money for a woman named Jenny Varner who suffers from breast cancer and needed a special pump to help fight her Stage 3 cancer. This year we decided to hold a volleyball camp for the students of Salisbury Middle School. Each Tuesday and Wednesday between 11:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m., some of the girls and I go to Salisbury Middle and teach the 35 students who signed up for our camp how to play volleyball. The camp is during the students lunch hour so knowing that they are willing to spend that free time with us, learning about the game of volleyball is really special. Getting the chance to spend a half hour two days a week with these students for the rest of the year, watching them get better each day and enjoy their time with us, is an experience we are all very excited to have.

This week we have our second in-conference game against St. Mary's College on Tuesday and a tournament at Juniata College this weekend. So come out and support us!

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