The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

Volleyball Players Struggle to Play for Out-of-Season Clubs


Participating in outside-of-school sports is not easy for some boarders who play volleyball.

Out of season students who live on campus, like those on the varsity volleyball team, find a struggle with commuting to club practices. Although this commitment is not required, after the 2023 season’s losing record of 5-11, many varsity and JV players found themselves wanting to win more games and potentially make a NEPSAC tournament bracket in future seasons.

These student athletes long to get touches on the ball during the off season, and by joining a club team this is a possibility. But because they must rely on cab services and day students to drive, and making sure they’re back in time for school requirements, these boarders struggle to make this commitment.

During the winter and spring season, the gym courts are always busy with the countless other sports, whether that be basketball, baseball, or ultimate frisbee. This leaves little to no time or space for volleyball players to even play without a net, making it almost impossible to improve when it’s not the fall season.

Other teams on campus who participate in club sports have this a little easier. The boy’s soccer team is often found on Galbraith and Sawyer Field, where the soccer goals are always available to them, unlike the nets for volleyballer players. This is the same with sports like squash, tennis, basketball, and many others who have constant access to any field or court they might need, depending on the weather, of course.

There are also outside of Williston clubs who come to practice in our facilities, including local soccer teams, making it easy for Williston students to join and participate in practices because it completely eliminates commuting two or three times a week.

This interest in club volleyball is not just centered around Williston athletes. According to, “More than 300,000 girls, ages 11-18, are members of USA Volleyball, and most of them play club volleyball outside of their high school season.

For Williston, this is solved by joining a local club team, Pioneer Valley Volleyball Club, which is about a 30- minute commute from Williston, at American International College in Springfield, MA.

Coach Taylor, Head Coach of the Girls Varsity Volleyball program, encourages all girls, who can, to try out and play for a team in the off-season, but recognizes it is both a time and financial commitment to do so.

Andrea Schwarz, who lives in Philadelphia, helps the Williston team, driving 10-plus hours at least twice a month.

[Schwarz is the author’s mother.]

“It is definitely hard, and it isn’t my favorite thing to drive that long, especially in the winter,” Schwarz said. “But seeing how much it helps … it is definitely worth it.”

Schwarz wishes it was more ideal for Williston students to play volleyball off campus in the off-season.

“If other sports can do it, why can’t volleyball?” she said.

Blue Meyerson, a sophomore from Seoul, Korea, finds being an international student participating in club volleyball an extra challenge.

“[Deciding to do club] was a little tricky because I realized that I definitely had to put in extra effort, like depending on other people to find rides and having to find specific times to get my parents’ permission in order to request a leave from campus to tournaments/practices,” Blue said.

“I have to tell my coaches that I will probably not be able to play or be as committed as much [due to travelling to and from countries during long breaks],” she said. “This would impact my chances of making the team, which would lead to feeling left out or disadvantaged.”

Although there are a lot of cons, Blue explains that “when you have strong, dependable relationships with people who can have access to vehicles and can help you get you to where you need to be, it is much easier.”

Ruthie Butler, a sophomore from Naperville, IL, still loves the ability to play club, even with all of the challenges.

“Club volleyball is a great way to practice and is beneficial because you get to play people of all levels and practice, consistently which really helps improve one’s game and skills” said Ruthie. “Club is worth it. If you have someone you know doing it as well, it makes it fun, but it’s also a great way to meet new people!”

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