Women’s Volleyball is currently 17–6 after an undefeated weekend at the Lycoming Invitational in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. A talented freshman class has been a significant factor in the team’s overall success. Freshman right-side hitter Beth Ghyzel is proving herself to be a major contributor on offense, posting 11 kills against NYU in the UAA round robin last weekend.
How has the team grown from the start of the season?
I think the team has been on a steady upward trend. We work hard in practice to continuously improve our game and I think a major component of that is the team’s focus on communication. Through meetings with a sport psychologist and pre-practice goal setting, we have been increasing positive feedback to each other on the court and on the bench to promote open lines of communication and improve team chemistry, which are essential to volleyball.
How has your first year as a collegiate athlete been?
To be honest, my first year has been busy and tiring. I miss sleep. Volleyball is a large time commitment, but being on the team is worth every second. Volleyball has been a big part of my life since the fifth grade and I couldn’t imagine not playing. From the beginning, the team has been welcoming and it’s an awesome group of people. I really appreciate the opportunities I’ve been given and I am trying to make the most of my first year on the team and in college.
What do you love about volleyball?
I love the interdependence. I have always said that volleyball is the ultimate team sport, because the rules of the game don’t allow any one person to control the whole game. Volleyball requires trust and cohesion that spurs from working relationships with teammates. This is important in any sport but I think that in volleyball especially a team’s attitude and effort can override talent or size.
What motivates you?
Coach asked each of us at the beginning of the season to make a goal for ourselves. I decided my goal would be to be a positive influence. I’ve taken it to heart, and the concept motivates my play, how I try to be as a teammate, and spreads into my work ethic.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Every action has a consequence, good or bad. I try to stop and think about how my actions could affect volleyball, academics, my future, etc. before I make decisions. The world is a bunch of interconnected chains of cause and effect, and I aim to keep my effects positive.
How do you hope to improve moving forward this season, both individually and as a team?
The team has recently been working on keeping our level of play aggressive and consistent, independent of the opponent. We play the rest of the UAA this weekend and it is going to be important to play at a consistently high level in order to do well. This is a mentality we have been working on all season and have been improving throughout the season. Personally, I do best when I don’t dwell on past plays. Going forward, I hope to improve my “looking forward” mentality and consistency in order to positively contribute to the team.
What advice do you intend to give to next year’s freshman?
The biggest thing I’ve had to learn is that you don’t have to do everything with everybody all the time. Even though everyone lives in close proximity in the dorms, everyone is also on their own schedule and has their own habits. Do your own thing and don’t worry about what other people are doing.
If you were given a day free of all responsibilities, how would you spend it?
I would sleep in for sure. After that I would go on a hike with friends, then sit under a tree and read a book. I haven’t read a book besides a textbook in months.