Inside SU Volleyball: Sea Gulls take down old foes as they climb to record ranking

Senior Jenna Shay is in her fourth year on the Salisbury University volleyball team. She graduated from Northern High School in Owings, Md., and is a native of Dunkirk. As an opposite hitter, she has been a mainstay on the Sea Gulls' front line throughout her career. This season, she will bring a behind-the-scenes look at Salisbury volleyball with blogs that take us into the lockerroom, the huddle and on the road with the team.

The past two weeks have been really exciting for our team. First, on September 18 we traveled three and a half hours, in the pouring rain, to St. Mary's College to play our conference rivals, the Seahawks. Playing at St. Mary's is always a challenge because the fans there are so loud and distracting. It was almost impossible to hear my teammates on the court because the St. Mary's fans were cheering and chanting our names so loudly to mess us up. The atmosphere there was so crazy and intense but we were able to stay focused and pull out a win in four games against a very good team.

Then on Thursday night we traveled halfway to Juniata College and stayed the night at Danielle DuBois' family conference center in Middletown, Md. The team and I had so much fun there. We got to play basketball, tetherball, gaga, and many other games. We also got to eat ice cream and candy while watching game tape. Then in the morning the cooks made us blueberry pancakes and vegetable omelets before we got back on the road for three more hours.

The ride to Juniata College was extremely long, going up, down and through mountain ranges. After checking into our hotel, we ventured back on the bus to ride to the gym. 

It turned out that the long ride was all worth it, we came out of the weekend undefeated and tournament champions. Our win against Juniata College, in five games, was a match I don't think anyone on the team will ever forget. It was a complete team effort. When we got back to Salisbury, Coach Knight let us watch the video of the last few minutes of the fifth game and we watched it on repeat because it was so amazing to see every player, whether on the court or not, jumping around, swaying their bodies with the ball, and cheering each other on. After that win we moved up in the rankings from No. 24 to 20, the highest Salisbury volleyball had ever been.

On Wednesday we had one more really great win against the University of Mary Washington, another conference rival. Mary Washington is a really great team that we have struggled with in the past, but we pulled together once again and came out with a win in three games.

Tuesday, after practice, we found out that we had moved up once again in the rankings from No. 20 to 18 – an amazing and exciting accomplishment for our team. If we keep playing the way that we have been, as a team always rooting for one another, I think that we could go even farther and I can't wait.

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