Groton’s Newest Varsity Sport: Voleyball

After four years of growing popularity and widespread student support, volleyball has been bumped a notch up on Groton’s athletic roster, finally taking its place as a fall varsity sport. Starting this fall, volleyball will be ranked at the same level of intensity as our football, soccer, field hockey and cross country teams.

Captains Montanna Riggs ‘19 and Evie Gomila ‘19 admit that, as shown in past years, not many girls have been willing to play volleyball when faced with other, more traditional choices of soccer, field hockey, theater, or dance. They are, however, quite enthusiastic about this year’s changes and believe that the promotion of the team to a varsity level accurately reflects volleyball’s increasing popularity on the Circle. “As student interest has grown over the years,” says Montanna ‘19, “so has the program.”

Groton volleyball began as a Faculty-Sponsored Activity (FSA), and soon advanced due to players’ strong dedication and enthusiasm for the sport. After its two years as an FSA, volleyball became a club sport. This meant that, although it was still student-run, volleyball was supervised by teachers as other group afternoon activities might be. The unofficial team competed with other schools, but did not enjoy a full season schedule. Last year, volleyball was raised to a junior varsity sport and an official Groton team. Coaches even had to make their first cuts from the 17 athletes interested. Now, captains and coaches say Groton volleyball is ready to become a varsity sport.

Varsity volleyball kicked off with preseason on the Circle, coached by Shannon Jin and Luis Viacava. The coaches, acknowledging the jump from a junior varsity to a varsity program, want players physically and mentally prepared; therefore, preseason was packed with hours of physical training, technical drills, and team-bonding to hone work ethic and encourage school spirit.

The varsity team is certainly a strong addition to Groton’s athletics program, and it will provide the girls with an excellent opportunity to compete at a higher level and enjoy this very popular sport,” Coach Shannon Jin said. “My hope for the varsity volleyball team is that all players stay focused and serious, train hard, and play hard so we can gradually build up a strong team and, one day, be a top team in the ISL.”

Currently, Groton varsity volleyball will only compete against other teams in the Independent School League (ISL) in games and scrimmages. Over half of the schools in the ISL have varsity volleyball teams.

Groton volleyball has had a strong record and has maintained an even stronger determination. Groton was undefeated in its first three years and had a 7-1 record last year, despite the challenges of upgrading to an official team. Coaches and players are ecstatic about the newest team and can’t wait for their varsity debut. Evie said, “We have a few games scheduled right after preseason and can’t wait to start playing and see what the competition is like!”

Best of luck to the varsity team in their first season and the many to come!