Side Out w/ the Ladies: Freshman Bethany Nuttall
Thursday, September 23, 2010

Playing volleyball in college is something that I merely dreamed of in high school. The fact that I am actually playing at Centenary is something that a year or two ago, I could never have imagined. My club and school coaches always told me that I had the attitude and skill to pursue my love of volleyball, but I never truly believed them until my senior year when I began to get offers from various colleges. Although Centenary was a last minute decision, I am so glad that I chose to come here.

During my last year of club season we had various collegiate athletes talk to us about playing volleyball. I always listened with fascination but could never imagine myself in that situation. Now that I am a student-athlete in college, I look back at those talks and fully understand what they said. I thought there would be a huge difference between playing in college and playing in high school/club, but to be quite honest the difference is not as dramatic as I had imagined. The pace of the game is definitely faster, but that is something I enjoy because I love being able to run a quick tempo offense. The balls are also hit harder, which can be challenging at times, especially when playing defense. Despite the slight differences between college and club/high school ball, I think that I have adapted well, and the girls on the team have played a huge part in making me feel comfortable.

Before committing to Centenary I had only met two people on the team, so I didn't really know anybody. For the first week of practices I was nervous about meeting my new teammates and playing well. One of my biggest fears was that I would go to my first practice and play horribly, causing the team to question why on earth I was part of the team. However, the girls welcomed me with open arms and instantly became my second family, who I would gladly do anything for. Although the first week of practices was challenging, I managed to get through it, but I wouldn't have been able to without the support of my teammates.

Our first few games as a new team have been challenging, and we have had issues along the way, as most teams do. However, I know that as a team we will get past these difficulties and continue on our way to a successful season. If I had to give one piece of advice about playing volleyball in college, it would be to always have fun. The main reason I play volleyball is because I love it, and if I did not have fun playing it, I would not be where I am today. I am so glad that I chose to come to Centenary because I can say, with confidence, that I truly love everything about this school, especially my team.

-Bethany Nuttall