Coming together

Team bonds with traditions, dinners


Mitchell Brackley

Head Coach Melissa Miller talks to the team before their game against Pieper.

Julissa Vargas, Sports Writer

The consistently high-performing volleyball program has a trick up its sleeve – team bonding.

The girls practice multiple traditions to prepare for each match: listening to music, hanging out together and having discussions before each game.

Senior Lillie Johnson, a Charleston Southern University commit, has 62 points for the season and averages about 2.5 kills per game.

“We have team dinners and try to do fun activities that will bring us closer together,” Johnson said. “We play music and get hyped before every game and talk about what we will work on before each game. It prepares us to do good and accomplish our goals for each game.”

The teammates have had a successful season thus far– they’re currently 5-1 in district, ranked just behind Canyon, who they lost to on Sept. 23. It was their first district loss since 2019.

“We do just about everything together, so it all feels like team bonding,” senior M.C. Ford said. “Anytime I go anywhere, I will always have a teammate with me. We like to blast music and dance around. It always helps me warm up. The talks we have before every game helps set up a positive mindset.”

Harvard Business Review found in a 2012 study that learning how to “communicate and to shape and guide the team” are more effective than individual talent.

“We are all pretty close outside of volleyball, so hanging out all the time improves our chemistry on the court,” senior Morgan Spradling said. “We all have our little pre-game motivational talks as well as jamming out in our locker room. It gets us in the right headspace.”