By Julie Gold
The volleyball season kicked off this year with a new tradition, a blue vs. white game. The opponents for this scrimmage were eight volleyball alumnae, including JV Coach Emily Dang. We asked the players what playing volleyball at Randolph had meant to them and what advice they would give our current athletes.
Have a Positve Mindset
Playing volleyball taught me how far hard work and a positive mindset can take you. That applies off the court as well. I went to Randolph for 13 years and I played volleyball for seven of them. Although a lot has changed, it still feels like home. Athletics has always been a part of my life. Now I coach and am a personal trainer. Some advice I would give the current Raider girls is to push yourselves. Your brain will tell you you can't achieve something, but your body will prove otherwise. Push yourself to reach your goals and your full potential! - Emily Dang ’12, Current JV Volleyball Coach
Cherish Your Relationships
Playing volleyball for so many years taught me about life, especially in my senior year. We learned that not one of us could win on our own. We needed every person on the court, and on the bench, in order to be successful. Going from Randolph to SMU, I use what I learned through Randolph Athletics every day. I love being part of a community that feels like home every time I come back. I was just at the school yesterday visiting some teachers and I'm so excited to see my volleyball girls tonight. I played on the SMU club volleyball team my freshman year and am still deciding if I am going to continue this coming year.
Cherish the relationships you make playing sports at Randolph. Those friendships are unlike any other relationships I had in high school. The fact that we are all able to come together and play again on a random summer night like this is just further proof of that. - Victoria Fennell ’16
Learn from Your Mistakes
Facing and overcoming adversity as a team is the best feeling, and it makes the team become closer. I miss playing sports at Randolph and I will always come back whenever I get the opportunity to. In college, I play every intramural sport there is. I'm a firm believer that sports can increase one’s levels of happiness and motivation in life. I think everyone should be active in whatever way they can. There will always be teams that are better and there will always be teams that are worse; none of that matters. What matters most is how you take what you did wrong, fix it, work on it, and improve as a team so next game you'll be that much better. And most of all, just enjoy it while you can. - Marina Egbaria ’16
Balance Your Time
The best thing I learned from playing sports in general is how to balance my time between school work, hanging out with friends, and playing sports. That was a very valuable lesson to have learned before college. Athletics are a part of my life now because I work out at least five days a week and make sure I stay active. I currently workout at Iron Tribe most of those days. Volleyball taught me the importance of teamwork and staying in shape. It is nice to see old friends and teammates. I love playing the game and it is also pretty nice to be able to play with my sister again. Something I would tell the Raider girls now is to never give up. Senior year, we looked at our line-up and thought no way we would win state. With a lot of hard work and training, we won. Something else I would tell them is to ENJOY IT. It is a blessing to be able to play volleyball. - Jordan Loftin ’16
Don't Overthink It
I learned so many valuable lessons during my years as an athlete. I would say an important one, that I didn't learn until later, is to trust myself and my training. I lacked confidence in my decisions at times and later in my career I started to understand that the biggest thing that holds me back is my mindset. When you train hard, it's so important to have confidence and to not overthink.
The academic reputation is what brought me to Randolph, but the community is what will keep me coming back. So many people at Randolph have touched my lives in many ways, and it is always fun to come back and catch up with everyone! Although I am not directly involved with an athletic team anymore, I am still connected to many of my teammates and coaches. Whenever we get together we still try to play some pick-up games.
My advice would be to dream big. Many teams have a goal to win a championship of some sort. Players sometimes can get scared to put their hearts on the line and go all in for that one common goal, but it can't be achieved without everyone buying in one hundred percent. - Laura Van Peursem ’13
Give it Your All
The most valuable thing about playing was learning how to work with other people and overcoming adversity. I loved everything about the Randolph community and that's what brings me back. Athletics made me who I am: keeps me motivated, healthy, and focused. Find something you're passionate about and just totally throw yourself into it. You can read more about Libby here. - Libby Gold ’16
Accept Constructive Criticism
I learned how to take criticism. While many people shut down at any criticism, it is necessary to not let it affect you and to make whatever changes are necessary. Having learned this, I’ve been able to apply it to other situations in college and life.
The incredible relationships I’ve formed at Randolph are what keeps bringing me back. I met some of my closest friends as a middle schooler. All of the time we’ve spent together, whether it was in the classroom or in athletics, created lifelong friendships. I essentially grew up at Randolph and many of the teachers and my peers have had a significant role in my formative years.
Athletics has instilled in me a drive to always do my best and this has become something I use in academics and everything I’m involved with. Outside of all of the great lessons I’ve learned playing sports, I have developed a passion for volleyball and basketball and still continue to play both in college. In anything you do, give it all of your effort and dedication, otherwise you’re just wasting your time. - Maddie Kofskey ’15
Currently I am right in the middle of preseason at BSC! I came back to Randolph to play because I wanted to play with my old teammates and see their progress over the past year. My advice to the team would be to keep working extremely hard, and lift each other up regardless. Radiate positivity whenever you can. -Julia Shoemake ’17
Until next year...
One couldn't help but notice the smiles and introspective looks on the faces of the alumni parents as they watched their girls playing, back on the Randolph court. More than one parent commented, "I never thought I'd get a chance to see this again."
The alumni parents are excited to come back to watch the current players this year and will eagerly look forward to the new tradition again next August, when we will be able to watch our girls once more.
Read more about the game on RandolphAthletics.net.