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‘Harnessed at the Front’

Posted Saturday, November 6th, 2010

If you look up leader or captain in the dictionary you will find a wide variety of definitions.  It might seem odd, but the one that stood out to me the most was, ‘a horse harnessed at the front of a team.’  There are several things that I love about this definition.  The first is the word harnessed- they are strapped in, committed.  They quite possibly could be the fastest runner or the hardest worker and if given the chance could blow the other horses away, but because of the harness they stay with the pack-the team.  The second thing I love is that they are ‘at the front’ meaning that the leader won’t require the other horses to do anything that they themselves do not do first.  The team may have to run through deep waters or scale a mountain, but they will have the assurance that their leader will accomplish the task alongside the rest of the group.

This year the GC volleyball team has three captains: Alyssa Cliffe, Jenna Marcotte, and Jessica Dothager.  For the sake of analogy, they are the horses at the front of our team and their harness is love- its what keeps them tied to the team even when things get tough.  These three are extremely hard workers- you see it daily on the court, in the classroom and in their relationships.   The rest of our team has great confidence in them.  The role of captain isn’t for just anybody, its not something to be taken lightly- its a big responsibility.  All three of our captains take the job seriously, they do a fantastic job at leading us and are greatly respected and admired by the rest of the team.  In chapter 13 of John, Jesus washes his disciples’ feet and tells them that the greatest among you must be the least.  He also says, “I have set you an example that you should do what I have done for you.” Our captains are not just hard workers, excellent players and excellent students- they are servants.  After every game they do the entire team’s laundry and repeatedly choose to put others above themselves.

Two short paragraphs doesn’t even begin to do these three leaders justice.  I haven’t even mentioned Cliffe’s command and dogged determination or Dothy’s quiet, yet powerful presence and her ‘never quit’ mind-set or Jenna’s killer competitiveness and gentle love for her teammates.  Each captain brings a unique set of qualities to the table- her own style and her own fun.  They have and will continue to lead their team well.

Thank you captains for all that you do and for the wonderful people that you are. We are priviledged to follow your lead.


The top of our list

Posted Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Appropriately positioned at the top of the GC Athletics list of objectives, is the expectation of a spiritual emphasis within your team.  This #1 objective states, “Provide a program that has a strong spiritual emphasis. Student athletes will be encouraged to a commitment to spiritual growth and outreach as a part of their total educational experience.”  Expectations such as these are what make Greenville College special and GC volleyball is certainly no exception. 

There are several ways that our volleyball team pursues God together.  We place a particular emphasis on prayer.  We are committed to weekly praying together as an entire team-spending time praising God for who He is, thanking Him for what He has done as well as lifting up specific requests.  In addition to the big group prayer times we also have what we call ‘prayer pods.’  A prayer pod consists of a group of four or five players that take time to really invest in each other’s lives through prayer.  The idea is that on a team as large as ours we are not able to pray as specifically as we would like for all of the prayer requests mentioned by our players.  The goal of the prayer pod is to dig deeper into each other’s lives in order that we can be actively encouraging and supporting one another through prayer.  

 GC volleyball also stresses the importance of biblical teaching.  Every Wednesday after practice our dear friend and mentor Mr. Wick comes to speak to our team.  Mr. Wick shares his insights from years of biblical teaching and various experiences from his life.  We appreciate his willingness to come and share his thoughts with us.

In addition to prayer and teaching our volleyball team emphasizes various disciplines and virtues that a Christian athlete should practice and obtain. Every member of the GC volleyball team strives to be a champion- we don’t want to be good- we want to be great- we want to be a team of champions.  We recognize that being a champion involves much more than an individual’s performance on the court and so in an effort to learn what this ‘much more’ entails we read what we call the ‘Champ Book’ together as a team.  The Champ Book is a collection of verses, quotes, stories and inspirational words that teach us about the important qualities of life- qualities such as hope, discipline, faith and love that we hope will be instilled in each player so that they will continued to be practiced and lived out after the player leaves Greenville College.  

As our volleyball team strives to be the best players that we can, go big places and win big games we are reminded of what is truly the most important part of our lives- Jesus Christ.  Our desire is that at all times, in all places and under all circumstances Christ would be at the very center of all that we do.


Our biggest fans

Posted Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Our parents play a crucial role on this team.  They have been our biggest fans and support systems in all of our volleyball experiences from coming home with bright red arms  in elementary school, to putting up with the drama of junior high, to driving to all of our club practices all through highschool, for patiently listening to all of our complaints, for being quick to praise us when we did something well and for cheering loudly in the stands at all of our games.  Our parents’ love and support certainly hasn’t stopped now that we are playing in college and we need to say thanks for a few things. 

In general we think that it is awesome when parents come out to support and watch their daughter play, but we are even more impressed when parents come regardless of whether their daughter is playing.  On one occasion the parents of one of our players came to a game even though their daughter was out with an injury- they knew that she wouldn’t be playing, but they came to support the team anyway.  On another occasion a couple parents came to a jv game even though their daughter started varsity.  Their daughter wasn’t even dressing, but the parents came to support THE PANTHERS not just their daughter- this speaks volumes to us.  These are just two of the examples of the amazing way that our parents show support.  We wish we could thank you more.

Another great way that our parents show us love is through the meals that they provide.  After a hard game we have worked up an appetite and we appreciate the food that parents give to us.  We would be happy to have just a simple meal, but we are always treated to GREAT food, lots of choices and more than enough to go around.  Not only do parents bring meals and snacks to our games, but they also invite us into their homes for a gigantic home-cooked meal.  Together we are a mass of sweaty, hungry people, but homes are open and there is always plenty of delicious food. 

Thanks, parents for all of your support.  Thanks for cheering us on, wearing our colors and for blessing us in all the big and small ways.   You are a big part of who we are.


We lead by serving…

Posted Thursday, September 16th, 2010

If you have been following our blog in any capacity you have probably entertained the thought, “there is something different about the GC volleyball team.” We don’t claim to be anything special- we merely claim to follow an incredible God.  Here is one of the ways that we shine… Last year, for the first time, we added a junior varsity team to our program. We decided to refer to the varsity team as ‘black’ and the junior varsity team as ‘orange’ hoping that we could remove any negative or positive conotations associated with each team.  We emphasised ONE TEAM with two parts.  With the Lord’s help we maintained the ‘ONE TEAM’ mentality and have decided that this year we will do away with ‘orange’ and ‘black’ because afterall, varsity and junior varsity are just terms- they don’t hold any true weight and they certainly cannot divide our team.  Expressed and demonstrated in a variety of ways, our team chooses to serve each other in love or as Mason puts it, “We do it because WE LOVE EACH OTHER!”  It is a hard concept for some to grasp, but its true- we don’t serve because we have to or because it makes us feel good about ourselves- we serve because we want to, because (for real :) we love each other.

One way that we serve is by working each other’s games.  At every home match the varsity will ‘work’ the jv games and the jv will ‘work’ the varsity games.  There are two people that watch the line- calling the in’s, out’s and touches.  There are two girls on the sidelines rolling balls back and forth to make sure that every play has a fresh ball.  Behind the score table there is a player running the scoreboard, doing the libero tracker and often someone doing the announcing.

The hardest part about working the games is not being able to cheer for our teammates.  When we get a big kill, dump, ace or dig it takes a lot not to cheer on our team, but we choose to take our job seriously and maintain a professional attitude.

Greenville Volleyball believes that we lead by serving and we are glad to have the opportunity to serve each other during games.

There really is something special going on here… we hope you will jump on board.

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