For many girls on the volleyball team, joining a club team is their key to success in the sport after high school.
“School volleyball is more of going and winning, trying to get the highest in the county or to sectionals, and club is more towards trying to get recruited to play in college and also learn more so that when you come back to school ball you are much more experienced,” senior Joy Maze said.
Club volleyball is more organized for skill level, while school teams play teams of varying skill.
“For club volleyball, everyone you play and on your team is pretty much around your skill level, whereas during school, it varies a lot more. You can play a team that you can completely sweep or you can get sweeped, so it’s not always the same skill level that you’re playing,” sophomore Melia Gorrell said.
Maze goes to The Academy Indianapolis for club volleyball, where she is a right side. On the GHS team, she is a middle hitter. A change in positions is not the only difference between the two, however.
“They think differently and have different ideas of how to help you with winning. How to set up defense, for example, a lot of coaches do it very differently, so every season I’ve had I’ve had to have a different way to do defense,” Maze said.
Differences like these do not always require the girls to pick and choose techniques.
“Sometimes, it’s hard because you have to combine the advice of both of your coaches, but I get good information from both coaches,” junior Siena Halfaker said.
One interesting aspect of club volleyball players is that the athletes must play against their teammates from other schools in school volleyball.
“I think it’s more fun to compete against them. I get to see them, and we get to see each other’s growth and just see how far we’ve come since the season,” Gorrell said.
Being on both teams carries a lot of responsibility, and sometimes the two interfere with each other.
“The end of school season and the beginning of club usually overlap. Tryouts for my club team are during our last few games usually, so it’s kind of hard because I run out of time to do other things,” Halfaker said.
The cost of club volleyball is one part that limits the girls who participate in it. Those who do are seriously investing in the sport and its role in their futures.
“School ball is usually free, or we do a fundraiser or something to help with the cost, and club is actually really expensive. It’s usually at least a thousand dollars or more, so it’s something that you definitely have to invest in,” Halfaker said.