Setting herself up for a notable season is exactly what sophomore Lisa Yeasted accomplished. As one of the captains, Yeasted has managed to take her leadership beyond volleyball. At an early age, Yeasted was exposed to the game of volleyball in addition to other sports, including basketball and soccer, through her sisters. From being the “ball girl” at various tournaments to eventually pursuing a career in volleyball, Yeasted always wielded an interest in the sport.
“I enjoyed watching [my sisters] play,” Yeasted said.
At 20, Yeasted is no longer a marginal participant in the sport. As a setter, she is the one who assures the rest of the team “to get every second ball.” This in particular entails for her to “up the ball” in order to somewhat distract the other team.
Nonetheless, there is more setting up off the court than what Yeasted completes while playing the game.
According to Yeasted, the conditioning involved in practice focuses on ab-work and also running. Specifically in the pre-season, the ladies held practices in the pool two to three times a week which, according to Yeasted “mixed things up.” However, on a regular basis, the ladies practice every day for approximately two hours and partake in tournaments on the weekend.
But aside from the wear and tear on the court during pre-season, there was even more behind- the- scene work that needed to be taken care of.
According to Yeasted, one week before pre-season began, the ladies were informed that they would have a new coach. What seemed like a challenge actually resulted in one of the team’s newest and greatest asset: Kassie Bellaver
“We didn’t know how she worked,” Yeasted said. But more importantly, the ladies had to “learn her style of volleyball.” Ultimately, “We all love our new coach,” Yeasted said.
Although there was a new addition to the team, for the most part, according to Yeasted, the dynamic of the season was similar. “[There were] the same passers from last year so that made it easier already,” Yeasted said.
Nevertheless, with this year’s volleyball season concluded, Yeasted can affirm that another considerable factor to the team’s success was the ladies’ solidarity. “We all motivate each other,” Yeasted said. In addition to this, the ladies keep in mind the big picture: having fun.
If the ladies lose sight of that notion, according to Yeasted, they are there to remind each other, “What are we doing?”
But with teamwork, of course, comes expectations. One of the more unsought aspects of the game, according to Yeasted, is losing a close-call game. “Knowing we could have done a few things differently,” is a source of frustration, but ultimately, the ladies have much to attest to.
According to Yeasted, from the first meeting of the pre-season, the ladies established the objective to make it to the PSAC playoffs.
Nonetheless, this points to a more significant accomplishment in the eyes of Yeasted: “doing as well as we did is an accomplishment.” In regards to understanding that different playing styles coexisted, the ladies were still able to come together under one coach and make it work.
What facilitated the team dynamics even more, according to Yeasted, was the fact that a lot of the veterans stepped up in this season. With that said, this can create a foundation for next season’s plans.
“With the strong returns we have, it’s definitely do-able to make it to the PSACs,” Yeasted said.
In addition to this, Yeasted plans on defeating more of the Western Pennsylvania teams now that there is knowledge of the fact that the teams weren’t as “astonishingly strong” this year.
Outside of WCU volleyball, Yeasted manages to maintain an athletic balance by staying active in participating volleyball leagues over the summer in addition to playing basketball and soccer. According to Yeasted, the ladies camaraderie exists off the court in that they work-out and even hang-out with teammates.