Side Out w/the Ladies
Friday, June 25, 2010


Friday, June 25, 2010

Volleyball. It's the sport that has defined me for the past 11 years of my life. The court has been the one place where I can go and escape from the rest of the world. It's has been my heaven and it's been my hell. I've devoted countless hours training and practicing in anticipation for the upcoming game. As a young girl, I dreamed of the opportunity to play college volleyball. It's been a rough road for me. I've struggled more than I ever thought I would. My love for the game has been tested, but no matter the obstacles that came my way I always kept my passion for volleyball alive.

Playing for Centenary has truly been an experience.  For the past two years, I've grown close to my teammates and consider them my sisters. In 2008, we joined the team as 11 freshmen and I was the transfer sophomore. It was a rough year. Centenary's volleyball team was literally starting from the bottom and working its way up. We struggled through many games, but once season ended it was time to put that behind us and look forward to fall of 2009.

This time I was junior libero, we have five returning sophomores and four incoming freshman.  The season was a challenge on and off the court.  On the court, we put up a fight against many good teams. However, once the pressure set in, the team's lack of experience started to show. Off the court, we were faced with chaos resulting from the switch to Division III. Everything was uncertain and it seemed like no question could be answered. The change caused many girls to examine their career at Centenary and like many other athletes, they chose to leave.  Our head coach also decided it was time for him to move on in his career. During the spring of 2010 Centenary hired a new head coach, but I still had to say goodbye to many close teammates.  I've come to learn there are two ways of looking at the situation. I can pull a pity card and ask the question "why me?" Or I can face the facts and look for opportunity to make good out of this. Centenary volleyball was working to rebuild the program into a tough competitor in the Summit League Conference. There is no reason why we can't continue this goal in the American Southwest Conference.  I can look at this as an opportunity to help transform Centenary's volleyball program into a winning Division III team.

I'm about to head into my senior year, my final year as an official volleyball player. This is one of the hardest obstacles I've had to take on.  I have only one more season so step out on the court, put on my libero jersey, and play with all my heart. I realize an opportunity like this upcoming season will never present itself again, which is why I plan to play with no regrets and leave it all on the court. I want to be a good leader for my team and a strong competitor for my opponents. This is my last chance to give it my all and I plan to do my best. I once heard a quote that has been an inspiration throughout my years as a volleyball player. I plan to use this as I head into my last season this upcoming fall.

"Somewhere behind the volleyball player you've becoming and the hours of practice you've endured is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back...play for her." 

-Bethany Kern