Andrea’ Ezell is a junior on the volleyball team this fall. She is the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), which helps give student-athletes a greater voice in the athletic department. Andrea will blog each month to let fans and the public know about what’s going on around the athletic department from the student-athlete’s viewpoint and from her team.
One of the hardest things to do when your team is losing is stay together as a family. To my surprise, staying together was one of the most constant things for my team as we started off our conference season struggling to grasp on a win. Right off the bat, my team had big teams with big hitters thrown at us. We fought and clawed our way to some five-set matches, but just could clutch the win.
Those five set matches were definitely the hardest thing for us to cope with. We could all see how close we were to winning; and instead of letting that drag us down, we pulled together even more to overcome this adversity. I had never seen my team pull together as a family more. Everyone — from our coach, Tami Audia, who was like a mother to us and let us cry on her shoulder when the stress go to us, to our freshmen who would come into practice with inspirational quotes — helped to keep us as one. As a family.
Because we stayed together through this tough time it made it so much easier to maintain trust in our coaches and visualize with them the goals and plan for our team. Every day at practice we ended with shirts drenched of sweat, out of breath and a feeling of accomplishment. We knew that the coaches had just equipped us with new tools; tools that would eventually lead us to our first conference win!
After our first Sun Belt win against Louisiana-Monroe we knew something had happened to us, something clicked. We began playing at the level we knew we could have the whole time. We knew the hard work and sweat was finally paying off. We were finally getting our paycheck – the win!
Practices now have only gotten harder. The expectations we now hold on each other and the expectations the coaches have on us have risen. But practice is now so much more fun. We get to work on new plays, new sets and new skills that we couldn’t before.
I know my team cannot wait to get back on the court against those teams we lost to in five sets. Those teams really have no clue what is coming for them. Our family has grown together even more and Georgia State volleyball is on a mission; a mission to get out of hell and into the conference championship game.
“You’re in hell right now. Keep going” – Tami Audia