Many students stop playing sports once they come to college, but for one student, quitting volleyball was never an option.
Jenny Berrong, marketing junior, started playing volleyball in middle school and loved the sport ever since. However, coming to college, she knew her sole focus was on her education.
“College volleyball is a huge commitment,” Berrong said. “I knew that I wanted to graduate a semester early, so my degree was my priority.”
Even having a sole commitment to her education could not stop Berrong’s love for the sport, so she joined the club volleyball team in the fall of 2016.
Berrong found her place on the team and said club volleyball is a happy medium between intermural and the athletics team.
“We are extremely competitive and play big schools such as UT, Baylor, A&M and other big schools, but without the same level of dedication,” Berrong said. “You have time for your classes and time for a social life while being able to play competitively.”
Berrong is now the president of the volleyball club and looks to make the most out of her role.
She was nominated by the previous president, and had no desire to become the new leader. Now that Berrong has her new role, she will do her best to fulfill the position.
“I’m really excited for this new role,” Berrong said. “I want to hopefully make club volleyball even better than before, and bring our team closer together.”
Even as the president of the volleyball club, Berrong has her own individual goals this season. Berrong hopes to improve in every aspect.
“I hope to improve in my new role as president by forming a strong team this semester,” Berrong said. “We have almost an entirely new team this semester, so I’m hoping to build a positive, yet competitive, environment for our team and be successful in our tournaments.”
There is a different setting in club volleyball. The team travels, goes to nationals and has practices weekly, but it is a more relaxed setting.
With this relaxed setting, Berrong said the team has more of a family feel with everyone working on becoming better.
“I want to make each player feel like an important and needed asset to the team,” Berrong said. “I also have a goal of improving myself as a player on the court and improving my stats for each tournament.”
Berrong held open tryouts to expand the new team.
“They went really great,” Berrong said. “A lot of great players showed up and there was a lot of competition. We made two tryouts of cuts at the end of each tryout day until we had our final team.”
With a new team this season, anything is possible. Berrong said she is very confident in her new team this season.
“We have a lot of great players with many skills,” Berrong said. “We had our first tournament last weekend and went to three games with UT’s A-team, which is normally the best club team in Texas. We ended up losing the third game 15-13, but it was a great start to our season. We can only improve from here on.”
Playing a sport for years can build character, leadership and communication skills. Berrong said playing volleyball for so long can help her build her career with the skills she has learned by being on a team.
“I believe, in volleyball, you have to use strong communication in order to work as a team,” Berrong said. “This will help me in the future when working in the business world.”