Volleyball team serves up new spring season


Lou Foglia

Siana Maradol, a junior advertising major, is one of the Renegades volleyball team’s four co-captains. The team’s season begins on April 1.

By Sports & Health Reporter

Despite facing difficulties registering with a league and recruiting players, the Renegades volleyball team is eager to compete in its upcoming spring season starting April 1.

Practices last semester received turnouts of 20–30 participants, but players lost interest after the team faced a series of obstacles, said Bre Boswell, a co-captain and freshman interactive arts & media major.

“We encountered problems with the coaches not being able to show up to practice,” Boswell said. “We encountered gym time being taken away from us. We were not able to get into a league last semester, so we had a lot of people quit. This semester, we only have around six or eight people.”

As with several Renegades teams, volleyball team captains have struggled to find and retain interest from the student body. Boswell has tried to combat the difficulty of expanding the team by reaching out to friends.

“I had my roommates come down and play with us,” Boswell said. “I’ve had my animation friends come down and play. We’ve recruited some people from the basketball team just to see if they’d like to play with us. So far, I see those numbers growing slightly every week, but we’re still growing.”

The small team size has its ups and downs, said Lindsey Emery, a junior photography major and active member of the team.

“It’s harder to have less people because if multiple people can’t show up or multiple people are sick or can’t be there, we can’t have a full team,” Emery said. “It’s also really beneficial because you get more playing time and it’s less crowded [on the court]. You can focus on relationships with other team members more intimately since you spend more time with them.”

Boswell said she finds being a member of the volleyball team a rewarding experience for a variety of reasons.

“I’ve met a lot of my friends through the volleyball team,” Boswell said. “It’s a great way to stay physically fit and practice my skills because while I was coaching and refereeing volleyball, I wasn’t playing as much. This is a way for me to rebuild my skills and work on being a team with these people again. The fact that there isn’t a lot makes it more personal with all of us and we get to build as a team.”

Emery also said she enjoys the relationship she has with the Renegades.

“It’s pretty laid back in that it’s not as intense as a legitimate team that you would have at a high school or college,” Emery said. “It’s a step up from intramural in that we have practice every week.”

Practices are held on Monday nights from 8—10 p.m. in The Flats gymnasium, 829 S. Wabash Ave. Boswell said she primarily leads the practices.

“We have been practicing passes so we can do well [in upcoming games],” Boswell said. “We are working on hitting as well, so we have good offense as well as defense. [The players have been working on] being able to talk to each other so that they’re not scrambling all over the court and so we have control over what’s going on.”

The Renegades competes in the co-ed Players Sports Group spring league and faces recreational teams from around the city. The team’s first game was scheduled to occur during Spring Break. It will forfeit that game and compete the following week on April 1. 

The team will play throughout the Spring season at the St. Andrew School gym, 1710 W. Addison St., according to co-captain Siana Maradol, a junior advertising major.

“I’m excited for the league to start,” Maradol said. “I’m excited to start playing. [We have] a great team. Everyone is super nice and super dedicated.”

Emery, who played volleyball in high school, said she is looking forward to competing against other teams after weeks of practicing and preparing to compete in the upcoming spring season. 

“I miss the competitive aspect of [playing volleyball],” Emery said. “I miss the team feeling, the sense of being on a team and being a part of something bigger. Winning is a great feeling, especially with an entire team. You work together and you accomplish something, so that’ll be fun.”