While the College has had a co-ed club volleyball team for some time, the club women’s volleyball team is a new addition to the club sports roster.
Club Women’s Volleyball, started by Betsy Greenberg `25, was created in an attempt to create more equality in the sport and cater specifically to women who formerly had to adjust to men’s needs during the co-ed practices.
“During co-ed practices, we play using a men’s height net that provides a challenge for players who are not accustomed to this higher net. We thought that forming a women’s volleyball team would offer players of all experience more opportunities to play volleyball in an environment suited for developing skills, forming friendships, and playing on a women’s height net,” Greenberg said.
The co-ed team also has more of a relaxed environment, while the women’s team tries to be more skill-focused, so they can prepare for competition, and new players can learn more about the sport.
“While co-ed club volleyball is a great place to get reps and scrimmage with your friends, it doesn’t offer many opportunities to improve your skills, particularly for those who are new to the sport. We seek to provide more skill-focused, drill-based practices and a more competitive season (competing against other schools in the northeast), so that team members can participate in ways that are most helpful for their learning process,” Greenberg said.
Marc Roy, associate director of recreation services at the College, emphasized how important it is to have this club on campus.
“I feel as though it’s extremely important to have a women’s club volleyball team for a number of reasons. Not only is it a great way to remain active and blow off steam at the end of the day, but it’s a relatively inclusive sport that welcomes not only the experienced players but also gives inexperienced players an opportunity to play and practice at a competitive level,” Roy said.
Roy hit on an important point that Greenberg also emphasized. Club Women’s Volleyball is not about being the best but rather about learning and growing as a team and becoming a stronger community.
While Club Women’s Volleyball has a tournament team, it includes players of all skill levels. It has scrimmages that are open to all, as well as a tournament team for the more experienced players.
“We created this team so players of all skill levels could be included, so we have scrimmages that are open to all. All of these scrimmages take place in Maine so it is accessible to all players, regardless of skill level or commitment level. This gives a chance for players to be in uniform and participate without the commitment of a tournament player. Our tournament team is for more experienced players who are willing to put in more commitment. The tournament team travels all over the northeast,” Greenberg said.
Roy echoed this sentiment.
“This club team is also very beneficial to the Colby community because it gives athletes who may not have the bandwidth or interest to play Division III athletics an opportunity to represent Colby College playing against other schools in a competitive environment,” he said.
Even though the club women’s volleyball team is young, it has already made its mark on the club volleyball community.
“We have competed in three out-of-state NWVCL (northeast women’s volleyball club league) tournaments that included schools like Harvard, Tufts, Northeastern, UNH, SNHU, UVM, etc. and made a lot of progress as a team. We also secured several wins over other club teams in Maine like USM and UMO, who we hosted twice this season. We are continuing to grow, and are excited for what next year holds,” Greenberg said.
And, with the club women’s volleyball team being such a success, it solidifies a pattern of growth across the College’s club athletics.
“The formation of the women’s club volleyball team will be influential for other female sport clubs in the future just by showcasing that it’s possible. We have so many former female athletes on campus that would enjoy to continue playing the sport they love, and it’s been wildly evident with the creation of the women’s club basketball team, women’s club lacrosse, and women’s water polo teams, all of which started just this academic year,” Roy said.
The number of women’s club sports has been growing, creating more possibilities for female athletes all over the campus.
~ Mairead Levitt `25