Mentality behind success of girls volleyball

From the courts to the classroom, the Jupiter High girls varsity volleyball team excels. The team is ranked as one of the best high school girls volleyball teams in the state, and they made it all the way to the state semifinals this season, reigning as both regional and district champions.

With a majority of seniors, the team consists of Ally Bauer, Riley Hearn, Sarah Brodner, Reese Davis, Ava Webster, Savannah Woods, Vivian Miller, Courtney Capar, Abby Moretto, Devyn Glassgold, Isabella Valdes, Kira Donechie, Kaitlyn Coombs, Trinity Quick and Maren Hunt.

Hearn, one of the team captains, is a senior and has been playing volleyball for eight years. She made the freshman team her first year of high school and started on varsity her sophomore year. 

“This is honestly one of the closest teams I’ve ever played on. Having that connection both on and off the court has really helped us over the past few years, especially this year,” Hearn said. 

Their friendship extends off the court as they frequently bond through various activities.

“We had a team bonding event a couple of days ago, we threw paint at each other. It was really fun. I think it’s really special how much effort we put into team bonding,” Miller said.

Miller, the other team captain, is also a senior and has been playing volleyball for 10 years. She made the varsity team freshman year and has been a team captain for two years.

Throughout the team’s experiences, one of the most valuable lessons they learned is time management.

“The biggest challenges are managing schoolwork and volleyball practice because we have practice every single day after school for two hours, sometimes three,” Glassgold, senior, said.

The tumultuous life of the girls on the team has various benefits, including improvements in mental health.

“I used to have panic attacks but when I started playing volleyball, I just felt like I had people to connect with and it made all my problems go away,” Hunt, junior, said. 

They also find it as an outlet to destress.

“In our rare off-seasons I find myself craving volleyball because it’s such an outlet mostly because it’s a social outlet,” Miller said. “You love your teammates and you get to see them and you get to just laugh with them but also from, just the release standpoint.” 

Hearn is president of the Athletics Community and Education Club in which is dedicated to prioritizing the discussions on mental health prominent within student-athletes as well as community engagement. 

The team incorporates activities to improve mental health regularly, including meditation. 

“We sat in a meditation circle and everyone said one good affirmation about what we wanted to improve or like how we were gonna play our game,” Hunt said. “Vivian Miller was our yoga instructor and we all sat around and just did yoga, but it was really relaxing. It was kind of fun for the team to bond like that.”

From late nights after school training to tournaments around the state, volleyball is a vital part of the team’s life and they enjoy every second of it.

“The connection and the energy you feel on the court playing with people like this team; everyone’s so supportive of each other and I love everything about it,” Hearn said. 

On Nov. 13, the team had their first loss in the state semifinals, ending their season.  

“Words could never explain the amount of love I have for this team. Thank you @Jupiterhighvolleyball for not only making me a better person but also I will forever cherish the memories, lessons and relationships made from this program. Although the season didn’t end at all how we wanted, we fought it out like a family and sometimes it happens for the best,” Bauer, senior, said on an Instagram post.