If you walked into the A&A after school on a Thursday last May, you would have been quite confused as to why a group of girls were serving volleyballs to the wall and setting balls into a basketball hoop. But the Montrosians who gathered every Thursday last spring met with specific goals in mind: to teach each other the skills of the game, to practice those skills, and to enjoy working together.
Since the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year, Christina Lataif ‘16 and Carolyn Walsh ‘16, among other upper-school students, have been working with Coach Blackburn and Mrs. Keeley to create Montrose’s first volleyball club. In March of last school year, their hard work paid off as 26 girls met for the first club meeting. Despite the lack of nets and other equipment, the players worked together to teach each other using the school volleyballs. Kira Dharni ‘18, who joined the club last year, explained, “It was my first time playing volleyball, and it was interesting to be part of a sport without a huge time commitment.” For many members, the flexibility of practices was an appealing aspect of the club.
This year, Montrose hopes to develop the club in a number of ways. Christina Lataif, a senior leader of the volleyball club, states, “I’m really looking forward to advancing the club this year. We hope that as the club grows, more and more girls will be able to participate, which would allow us to do more drills and games!” Coach Blackburn, head of the athletic department, stated that the club is “…still developing. We will be working with the USA volleyball team to have demonstrations in the A&A, as well as skills clinics. The clinics will be held throughout the year.” In addition, the club will be open to all middle-schoolers as well as the upper-school students. “This would be a great opportunity to bring the whole school together for something we all enjoy,” says Christina Lataif. She also added that “Everyone is welcome to come; there is no experience necessary to join.” In addition, club leaders and Mrs. Blackburn will work together to organize the club with more structure, so members have a more set schedule to follow.
Although several aspects of this year’s club remain uncertain, members buzz with excitement about the resumption of 2015-2016 practices. “I enjoy playing volleyball, and it’s nice to have the opportunity to play in two seasons,” says Giulia Rozzo ‘19. “I am especially looking forward to practicing a sport I enjoy with my friends at school,” added Julia Lewis ‘18. In the same way, new and potential members cannot wait for Spring, when Montrose’s Volleyball Club will yet again pass, set, spike, and serve volleyballs around the A&A building.