In a club sport that involves bi-weekly practices and two road trips per month over a season that lasts the entire school year, the women”s volleyball club finds more than enough time for bonding, an experience that is often cherished for the average group of females.

Volleyball is one of the University”s more popular clubs, fielding between 60-70 hopefuls during their fall and winter tryouts.

“I was really nervous when I tried out,” junior Amanda Hopkins said. “I didn”t think I”d make it. You might say it”s just club, but to me, it”s not just club. It”s definitely an accomplishment.”

After a selection by committee that starts with the coaches and considers the opinions of the club”s officials and members, making either the team”s “A” or “B” squad becomes quite an accomplishment.

“All of the girls have a lot of support for one another,” sophomore Meredith Hasse said. “It doesn”t really matter which team you are on. We”re just one big happy family.”

Making the team is just the first step for these women. The season lasts from September through April and will often occupy half of the weekends on a player”s schedule. Some of the most recent away tournaments have landed the Wolverines at Ohio State and Indiana.

Last year”s national tournament, took place in Kansas City. The team ended up winning the silver division and finished the year with a No. 17 national ranking.

This year, the Wolverines hope to improve on last year”s success as they prepare for the national tournament in Dallas at the end of April.

“Because you”re away from campus during nationals, it forces us to hang out with each other,” junior Jess Knapp said. “That”s when you really get to know about each other.”

The team”s rise through the national rankings in recent years has been a good measuring stick for how capable it really is.

“Two seasons ago we had a girl try out for the varsity team here who is still playing for them,” club president Erin Myers said, “so that should give you an idea of our competitive level.”

The competitive reputation the team carries is just one of the factors that draw out prospective members. Some players have been recommended by high school coaches, while others just learned about the team from a classmate in math.

Whatever the reason they come out to play, the overwhelming factor that keeps them playing is the relationships they form.

“Normal things can turn out to be so fun with the team,” sophomore Elisabeth Lawrence said. “Random things like going to the grocery stores will end up being a blast.”

The team”s next home tournament takes place on March 23 at the intramural building, where the club will play host to a 16-team pool.

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