Persevering by Just Breathing: Volleyball Girls’ First Game


Gustavo Meza

Delaney Torres takes a breather before serving the ball to Barstow

Gustavo Meza, Journalist

No matter if someone is “fresh meat” on the team or a four-year experienced varsity player, first game jitters are inevitable, whether it be caused by total excitement or nervous tension.

Lady Jags Volleyball had their very first game of the year, taking on Barstow on Tuesday evening. In Set 1, University Prep struggled to catch up to Barstow due to lack of communication.

Samantha Lopez, 12, elaborated on her perspective from the back row of the court. She exclaimed, “I was feeling frustrated because our front row wasn’t dropping to cover and as a Libero, it is a big responsibility to cover what they can’t.” As the game continued, the Lady Jags learned from their mistakes and began to work together as a team. Set 1 ended in Barstow’s favor. However, the Jaguars were not going to give up just yet.

Gustavo Meza
A very frustrated Samantha Lopez offers advice to her teammates.

University Prep plunged into Set 2 of the game with their eyes on the finish line. The Jags kept close to Barstow, each of them switching off in the lead. Every point starting with a serve. The serve is one of, if not, the most crucial move in a volleyball game. Each player has developed their own unique serving stance that works best for them.

When asked, Delaney Torres, 12, explained her posture. “I hit the ball three times and stretch my left arm forward with my palm face up gripping the surface of the ball while my right arm is held behind my head in a triangular position.” She also provided insight on of the most important aspects of any serve, “Breathing is of great importance. During the game, you build up so much adrenaline that you might accidentally hit the ball out of the court. So, it is so important that you calm yourself down, breath, and serve.” University Prep put up a great fight, but came up short in Set 2.

Gustavo Meza
Paige Zimmerman cracks a smile during the 3rd set, a surprise to those who know her, as she is well known for keeping a straight face.

As Set 3 rolled around and the Jaguars were trailing behind, Paige Zimmerman, 11, shocked many as she cracked a smile for the first time during the game. Zimmerman is notorious for being a very intense competitive player with a serious attitude when she has her head in the game. It was a shock to many fans when she was caught on camera smiling, even her dad Mr. Zimmerman who called it a “once in a lifetime photo.” The Lady Jags gave it their all but unfortunately took their first lost in 3 sets against Barstow that evening.

After the game, Zimmerman was interviewed about that golden smirk to which she responded, “I get frustrated really easily, but smiling helps me remember that I need to have fun during the game. Sadly, you can’t win them all but you can choose to still have fun.” University Prep faces Silver Valley on the road Thursday and then continue on Friday to play Hesperia Christian at home.