Volleyball schedule sends player home
Part 3 of a 3-part Volleyball series
Senior political science major Sam Worsham jumps to set the ball during a game last season. The volleyball team continues to participate in conference play even when the official season is over. TIFFANY KUDIWU/ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR
The main goal of the non-conference schedule is to help players prepare for in-conference games, but there's another benefit for players far away from home.
In addition to preparing the team for conference play, head coach Tommy Harold will try to get the Wolf Pack (28-9 7-7) to play a game near the hometown of one of his players once during their four years on the team.
This year the team member who was able to play close to home was political science senior Sam Worsham.
Worsham said that the opportunity was more meaningful since her family had never gotten to see her play organized volleyball.
"I got cut from my high school volleyball team," Worsham, who led her team in aces and assists in her last season with the Wolf Pack, said. "My friends and family never really got to see me play volleyball, so developing skills four years in college and being able to show them what I worked on and how I've improved was awesome."
However, Worsham said playing in her hometown of Chicago. didn't provide much of a home court advantage for her when the Pack faced the team hosting the tournament.
"One of the girls I played club with played for Illinois Tech so I think she had more home court advantage than I did," she said.
"But it was still awesome to have family and friends watch me play."
Harold said he was looking for tournaments near Chicago for the team to play in but that a lot of things had to fall into place in order for it to happen.
"You've got to find the schools that are hosting a tournament on the weekend when you need one within an area that you can get to," he said. Harold also noted that since they were not the host school they had to adjust quickly to their opponents. "We were able to get to Chicago but we didn't have any control of where we played once we were there," he said.
Along with the benefit of helping one of the team's seniors play close to home, Kailey Tuthill said the schedule early on helped the players to function as a team.
"The schedule gave us time to find unity," Tuthill said. "We started off really well and had to learn how to work with each other against harder teams. By the end we go it together."
Hasani Grayson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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