By Mariah Halbert
September 15, 2022
Ouachita’s volleyball season set off with a win in the books on day one of Denton Volleyfest. One of the two players leading the defensive strikes against the opposing team, Midwestern State, was Emily Adams. Adams, a freshman from Arlington, has been playing volleyball since the third grade and has maintained her passion for volleyball all the way into her first year of college ball.
Playing the position of right side or middle, Adams went into the game with ambition and steadiness. Only part of her fuel for games comes from her training, the real fuel comes from the uplifting and supportive words of her peers.
One of her teammates, Riley Braziel, is a starter for the Ouachita Tigers and has been playing volleyball since she was eight years old. Braziel is a freshman and fulfills the position of outside hitter. When talking to Braziel about her team, anyone would be able to notice her passion not only for the game, but also for her team. Not just Braziel and Adams, but the whole freshman group coming in has a lot of excitement about the new league, and they’re excitement is being reinforced into effort towards the team’s success.
When asked about advice they would give to younger selves and any upcoming player, the players said they should not be so hard on themselves when practicing their skills as an individual, and to “not be such a perfectionist,” says Braziel. They also say players should keep their heads held high and strong and not to be discouraged by any challenge or loss that comes to pass. When faced with an obstacle, the answer is not to avoid it and go around, but to work through it and allow a stronger, better player to come out of it.
The volleyball team is going through a transition of mind-sets. Going from one that left the team feeling disconnected to one that provides a sisterhood amongst each other. In the process of shifting mindsets, the team is learning how to come together closer than ever.
Ouachita’s hope for their volleyball team is for success and an overall positive outcome regardless of how many games won or lost. As athletics are a part of the face of Ouachita, it is encouraging to see the women of this team come together and work hard towards their goals; thus achieving one of the main purposes of Ouachita’s mission statement of community.