By Paige Bodine
A year ago Grand Rapids Community College’s Volleyball team was practicing two times a day to get prepared for the national championship. This year, the gym is eerily empty.
The volleyball team is limited to two practices a week until next semester when the season officially starts. In the collegiate world, two times a week is barely anything but is not taken for granted.
“We are trying to make the best of it,” said Kylie Oberlin, a sophomore at GRCC.
Oberlin decided to make the big move from Fruitport to Grand Rapids to play volleyball for the Raiders.
“I feel like when I’m on the court, life just makes sense and that’s where I am supposed to be,” Oberlin said.
Similarly, freshman Audrey Gower moved from Holt to pursue her dream of playing collegiate volleyball. Even in the midst of uncertainty, both women continue to train and remain positive about the upcoming season.
“I just love the sport. I am excited to compete again since I haven’t in such a long time” Gower said.
The team’s love of volleyball and work ethic are driving forces that motivate them to use every minute of practice to get better.
Having practice in the COVID era continues to prove to be an unforeseen challenge for both seasoned players.
“Practice consists of first a COVID screening, we wear masks during practice and at the end of practice we sanitize all of our equipment,” said Gower.
In addition to balancing being a full-time student-athlete, Gowler also works part-time in the fieldhouse. While she is not playing volleyball she is usually hanging out with her friends and family. She loves animals which feeds into her major, biology. Oberlin is majoring in business and when not on the court is hanging out with friends. She lives in a house with other volleyball players which always makes life interesting. The volleyball season may be a different time of year, but that doesn’t change the team’s mentality or how hard they are willing to work.
“We are ready to uphold the reputation of GRCC Volleyball, Oberlin said. “We are ready to win and I’m excited to play.”