Joshua Mabry, Campus Carrier Sports Editor
When college sports teams travel to other colleges for games, it is typical to see the team go to hotel rooms, practice and compete in games. However, the Berry volleyball team likes to do more with their trips.
Assistant Coach JT Oates said the volleyball team does many exciting activities on the bus and in the towns that they visit, in addition to the game and study hall time.
One activity that the team does while traveling on the bus is a scouting trivia contest.
Oates said that the seniors or team captains go through the scouting report for the games the team is going to play and then come up with questions based on the report.
The team is then divided up. One person from each group comes up to a buzzer and is asked the questions that the seniors and team captains came up with. The trivia contest operates in a format similar to the game show Family Feud, according to Oates.
“It gets them up, gets them active and gets them prepared for the game mentally,” Oates said. “We have tried to find a way to make scouting fun.”
Oates said that in addition to scouting, another common question asked in the trivia contest is how many miles the college that the team is traveling to is from Berry.
The trivia contest is fun to watch because the teams gets really competitive, according to Oates.
Doing fun activities on the bus is very important to the team.
“Chemistry is a huge part of our team, so those times on the bus are a great opportunity to engage in our relationships as a team,” Oates said.
The best part of being on the bus is getting to watch the team and see the joy that they have for each other, according to Oates.
In addition to fun activities on the bus, the team has the opportunity to visit locations as well. They got to visit the Garden of the Gods when they went to Colorado.
“It’s a great opportunity for the girls to see and do things that they may not otherwise,” Oates said.
Oates said that there is also a specific amount of time set aside for homework when the team travels, both on the bus and at the hotel.
Junior setter Jordan Leitch shared some more fun activities that the Vikings do when they travel. She said that at the beginning of each road trip, each player will pick her own row.
“It’s like we have our own assigned seats because everyone knows where they want to go automatically,” Leitch said. “We usually start off by talking to one another, doing some homework and listening to music.”
After riding along some more, someone on the team will create a poll on the team’s group chat about what movie they should watch and the movie that wins will be the movie that the team watches, according to Leitch.
Leitch said that the team brings a bag of board and card games to play as well.
However, the best part of traveling with the volleyball team is dance parties, according to Leitch.
“There are a couple of people on the bus who have their own song that they like to dance to before each game,” Leitch said.
Freshman Isabella Samson enjoys dancing to “Billy la Bufanda” pre-games.
Sophomore Cyrena Bedoian dances to “Body Like a Back Road” by Sam Hunt and junior Emily Hancock dances to “Pretty Boy Swag” by Soulja Boy.
Leitch said that the coaches, athletic trainers and the bus driver all enjoy watching the team dance.
Having fun not on the court or not doing homework is very important, according to Leitch.
“It brings automatic energy to everyone on the team,” Leitch said. “Not only an energy for yourself, but energy to compete for each of your sisters on the team.”
Leitch said that having fun allows the team to know that they are going to perform their best when they play a game because they are full of energy.
Bedoian said that bus rides are her favorite part of traveling because she enjoys the company of people.
“I love cuddling with my teammates and watching a movie or going up and messing with them while they’re trying to do homework,” Bedoian said. “The bus rides are so much fun because there are so many of us in such a small place.”
This takes the players’ minds off of playing.
“When we travel, it’s fun because you’re going to a new state or a new college,” Bedoian said. “Getting to experience that fully is way more fun because you get your mind off the game and get to enjoy time with the people.”