Pass. Set. Kill. This is the mantra written in the main gym of the newly renovated Gillom Center, the home of the Ole Miss Women’s Volleyball Team. Led by Coach Steven McRoberts, associate head coach Ronaldo Pacheco, and assistant coach Tori Plugge, the 2018 volleyball team has had a season to remember, with an overall record of 13-16 and an SEC Conference Record of 3-12.
Junior Emily Stroup, an outside hitter for the team and recently named to the All-SEC team, reflects back on the somewhat rocky season.
“Our season didn’t go the way we planned for it to,” she reported. “We started off really strong getting some big wins against Oregon State and Ohio State but once SEC play started everybody got really competitive. We had a lot of hard five-set losses.”
According to Stroup, the team holds practices at the Gillom Center every day between 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. and lift weights twice a week. Though this may seem like a lot, the team seems to have found a balance between sports and school work.
“We normally have class in the morning, so with school work, it’s important to try and get it done before and after practice,” says Stroup. “We have a lot of help from FedEx, our Academic Center, because of the advisors and tutors that we have access to!”
When asked about the value of practice, Stroup ranked it above all. “[Practice] is extremely important because, without it, there’s no way to get better. We always talk about how we should try to get 1% better every day.”
Since the team collectively holds practice at such a high value, they are all clearly dedicated to the game. The passion they share for the sport is reflected in the way they play, win or lose, and a lot of their best moments involve each other.
“The team does everything together. We usually go on spring break together and visit each other’s hometowns, so all of those are fun memories too!” Stroup explained. “My favorite memory was winning the National Invitational Volleyball Championship.”