Varsity head start for four sophomores

The playoffs push for the volleyball team is in its final stages with three games left in the season and the Redhawks facing off against Lebanon Trail High School Tuesday at 6:45 p.m. start at Lebanon Trail. It is a familiar routine for many of the players, but for the four sophomores on varsity (Mary Jane McCurdy, Brooklyn Shelton, Allison Varela, and Grace Payne), it’s a new experience. 

“The level of competition is a lot higher and the expectations we have for the athletes as far as time and effort is greater,” volleyball head coach Clark Oberle said. “The extra time I get to have with them instead of one year or two years, with the sophomores I get three years with them, so I feel like they have a better understanding of what’s expected”.

Being a sophomore on varsity allows Mary Jane McCurdy to be involved in the volleyball program on a different level. .

It’s really fun to get to do all of the varsity things as a sophomore,”

— MJ McCurdy

“It’s really fun to get to do all of the varsity things as a sophomore, like throwing the volleyball at games and being more of a leader on campus,” McCurdy said. “I like that it’s more competitive than JV was, and it’s fun to know the upperclassmen as more than just acquaintances.”

On the freshman team last year, Brooklyn Shelton and Allison Varela are also developing new skills playing on the varsity team. 

“It’s super exciting being a sophomore on varsity. I love playing with people from different grades,” Shelton said. “It was a change for sure but the environment is more competitive on varsity. The biggest change was the pace of play which is much faster than last year”

It’s scary but also very fun at the same time,”

— Allison Varela

“It’s scary but also very fun at the same time,” Varela said. “Varsity is different because people are a lot taller and can hit a lot harder, and it is terrifying”.

It’s a sentiment shared by sophomore Grace Payne who is in her first year on campus. 

“The environment for playing volleyball is better at Liberty than at my previous school,” Payne said. “Being on varsity is scary, but it is a good experience for me and it’s fun getting to meet everyone and being able to play with new people”.