by Jake Knoeller and Dezmond Remington
For the first time, a women’s club volleyball team is being formed at Cal Poly Humboldt.
The idea was brought up when a large number of women were consistently attending the men’s practices, including student Sophie Collins. Collins has been playing volleyball for eight years, but stopped when she came to Humboldt.
“When I came here, I didn’t play on the school team,” said Collins. “But I really wanted to keep playing volleyball. And so when I was walking around [at] a table event, I saw [a sign that said] men’s and women’s club volleyball and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is so awesome.’ So I talked to them, and I signed up.”
Interest from athletes has been intense.
“Once we started getting more women who wanted to play, we figured we should make a club team,” said team staff advisor Marissa Holguin.
Holguin is a former coach for the men’s club team. Now, she is going to help with the women’s team, which is still working on recruiting.
“We started our process last fall, but during the first year it’s all probationary,” said team president Noelani Araujo. “This is just setting the foundation up for next year.”
The team plans on getting more games and scrimmages set up during Fall 2023. To join any real tournaments, they need a bigger budget. According to members of the team, the process has been rocky. The nascent team has big dreams; they want to go south and compete with teams like UC Davis, Reno, and St. Mary’s, but they’re hamstrung by budget constraints. The club is currently on a probationary period, which prevents them from getting club funding. It also makes reserving the gym to practice difficult.
“We kind of had it going for a little bit and then it got kind of weird with getting the space to actually play and getting people who are interested to show up,” Collins said. “We’ve kind of decided to rethink our methods.”
The team is open to every skill level. The club is looking to recruit lots of new members heading into fall if they are able to commit to practices on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6-8 pm. Their first season will be spring 2024. Interested athletes should contact @hsu_womensvolley on Instagram. Their email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We want to get started making a team and getting a sense of community,” said Araujo. “Not necessarily getting competitive, but building on that team feeling.”