By Jenna Miller
It’s not the lack of commitment or the lack of passion towards the sport that makes club players different from the school team. Both sets of players have an undying love for the game and a desire to continue playing competitively in college.
So what is the major difference? It’s the lack of time and lack of resources. Girls who play for a Division II college volleyball team are easily practicing and training for several hours each day.
“It is stressful trying to do homework and school while doing volleyball for four hours a day, but I have gotten really good at time managing,” said Sami Krakower, a junior middle blocker for the Point Loma Sea Lions.
Still, all of the time the team spends together creates an unbreakable bond. “My coaches and teammates are like a second family,” Krakower said. Yes, club teams create bonds between players, though not at the depth as the players on a school team because of that one factor: time.
But, for the ones looking for a chance to play and make new friends while not giving up as much time, club sports are available. Volleyball, soccer, and rugby all have club teams where tryouts are held for anyone looking to play. If the love for the sport is there, then these clubs are a great option to go out and play.
When asked if she wanted to play collegiate volleyball, senior Danielle Mullery from the club team said, “I would’ve loved to play, but I just didn’t know that world.” Many great players have this same dilemma or injury has taken them out of the game.
Jasmine Julye graduated last year, yet still comes to club volleyball practices to help coach. Juyle was offered a scholarship to play on the school team, but when a torn ACL took her out of the sport her senior year, she feared tearing it again. She ended up declining to play for the school team.
“My love for the game never went away, so when I was asked to join the club team when I was playing intramurals, I said yes,” Julye said.
Both the women’s soccer and volleyball club teams do not have coaches. So in their place are brave seniors being put into the hard position of coaching as well as playing. Lizzy Moyer from the women’s soccer team said that boundaries are tough to distinguish when you are coaching the girls you are also playing with. Senior coach Cassie Fields said, “I myself am still a player and my teammates are my friends.” She went on to say how hard it is to make lineups for the games.
Rugby, on the other hand, has three coaches along with a president, vice president, treasurer, and a social media person. This support system has made the rugby team very successful. Three days of practicing each week paid off when the team made it to Nationals.
Having made it to Nationals last year, rugby earned sponsorships that helped them gain more money for their club in addition to their club fee of $250 per year. ASB also funds their club. “ASB has done a lot of really great work for us,” rugby vice president Jesse Oleson said.
ASB funds the women soccer club team as well in addition to club fees of about $35 a year per player, plus fundraising. Senior team member Allison Holms said that she is working with ASB to receive more financial support for their club. Fields described how ASB also funds volleyball, and she receives rollover money from the previous year to put towards tournament fees and gear.
Club players have found support within friends, teammates, and even professors. PLNU soccer coach, Tim Hall, has been a great help to the club soccer team by donating old jerseys. Though it may not seem like much, these jerseys help the club feel more connected to the school. Moyer said, “It’s cool to have a PLNU logo on our jerseys as a reminder that we are playing for the school and we are playing for each other.”