First live action for Springwood volleyball

Published 10:25 am Saturday, August 19, 2023

On Thursday, Springwood’s new volleyball program got on its home court for the first time since starting the program this summer. 

The excitement for the volleyball program was prevalent early on Thursday. Both the varsity and junior varsity teams got on the court against The Oaks School in Opelika. 

Newly hired head coach Linda Schiller has had her work cut out for her this summer. The Point University graduate has been tasked with teaching a sport that most of her players have never experienced before. On Thursday, Schiller got to see some of that work come to fruition. 

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“It was fun,” Schiller said. “It was really fun to watch, it was really fun to coach. It was fun to see everyone play, everyone got to be on the court for the first time.” 

The junior varsity squad played in a best of three match, and they lost in two sets. The varsity squad played in a best of five match, and they lost in three games. Springwood was unable to come away with a win, but the scrimmage will not count toward its regular season record. 

Schiller was surprised with how quickly the team learned the fundamentals of the game. If you were not familiar with the program, you likely would not have known that it was their first time on the court. 

“I’m super proud of the girls,” Schiller said. “We just started learning the rotations. It was their very first game, and they understood way better than I would’ve imagined.” 

The most noticeable aspect of Springwood’s team was the excitement on the bench. After each point Springwood scored, the bench erupted as if they had just won a state championship. 

“I just love the spirit they had,” Schiller said. “They were super encouraging. The team chemistry was just really great.” 

Energy on the bench has been something that Schiller has stressed since becoming the head coach. 

“I think the bench is as important as the people on the court,” Schiller said. “I asked every single player how great it feels if there are 14 other girls cheering on the sideline for you. I just know the feeling if there’s someone on the sideline cheering for you. It just makes you play 10 times better. I just want the girls to have a feeling of being supported by their teammates.” 

Springwood’s progression since the start of this summer has been remarkable. Schiller was excited to see how far the team had come. 

“They’ve definitely progressed immensely,” Schiller said. “When we started six weeks ago, they couldn’t even get the serve over the net. Now they know where to stand in the rotation, where to go, how to pass the ball. I know they can do way better, and they also know that they do wanna keep playing and gradually progress and get better every day.” 

The scrimmage will help to prepare Springwood for the regular season. Springwood will open their season at home next Tuesday against Lafayette Christian School. 

“It was good to see where we are right now,” Schiller said. “Even if we scrimmage each other in practice, it’s not the same feeling as actually being on the court. I love that we got the jitters out. Everyone was super nervous in the beginning when I told them they were getting on the court now. I’m just glad we got over that, now they’re ready to play the next game.” 

In preparation for their matchup against Lafayette Christian, Springwood will be working on their communication, passing and receiving serves. 

“The bench is super loud, and now we just have to know to be loud on the court as well,” Schiller said.