Rosemary Chesney, asst. sports editor
This season, Berry’s volleyball team went further than any Berry sports team has gone since transitioning to the NCAA. According to Head Coach Caitlin Moriarty, the team won the conference championship, regional championship and made it into the NCAA quarterfinals. Finishing seventh in the nation, Berry students outside the program attribute the volleyball team’s success to their family-oriented culture.
Junior Alex Ruble began working for the volleyball team in spring 2021 as their personal videographer and photographer. Ruble attends all volleyball games and some practices, creates all of the team’s Instagram content, creates highlight videos and inspirational/hype videos for the team. Ruble said that his favorite part of the job was getting to know the team through scrimmages and practices and watching their personalities play out in the videos.
“I think the team chemistry is super strong off the court which helps them on the court,” Ruble said. “Overall, each one of the teammates looks out for each other, and I really think that every Berry team should aspire to have a team culture like them.”
Outside of volleyball, Ruble is a freelance photographer for events such as weddings and senior portraits. He hopes to turn this side job into a career in the future. As his first time working for a sports team, Moriarty specifically hired Ruble. Ruble said that one of the best benefits of the job is the amount of creative freedom Moriarty gives him.
“The volleyball coaching is one of the strongest in the nation,” Ruble said. “From filming practices, I see that Moriarty and Assistant Coach JT Oates are really encouraging and when [players] make mistakes, they simply cheer them up. The team is super forgiving of each other.”
Another student working alongside the volleyball team is junior Pearl Parrott working as the team’s manager. She primarily works with the coaches in running the score board, averaging the team’s scores and plays, scheduling events and booking restaurants for the team during trips. Parrott has been working with the team since her freshman year and hopes to have the head manager position next season.
“It’s cool how you have all four years of classes being shown in every game while they’re playing, not just upperclassmen,” Parrott said. “I think that shows that Berry really prioritizes talent and dedication over seniority, and it’s cool that the girls don’t get jealous about that.”
Prior to COVID-19 regulations, Parrott was also meant to travel with the team. One of the aspects of Parrott’s managing job is that she lives with some of the junior volleyball players on the team. She said that during the volleyball season she was amazed when the girls she lives with woke up at four o’clock every morning to head to practice.
“Living with them has shown me how hard it can be to be an athlete,” Parrott said. “They take it with grace and dignity and kill it out there [on the court.] As some of my closest friends, I am in awe and amazement of these girls.”
Transferring from working with the men’s lacrosse team, sophomore Allie Herbert works in sports medicine for the girls’ volleyball team. Herbert assists Parrott in scheduling, travels with the team during games, retrieves balls during games, works during practices and assists with injuries. While teams are normally assigned to sports medicine students, Herbert chose to work for volleyball at the beginning of the semester.
“The team is like a family in the way they treat each other and include me,” Herbert said. “I’ve felt like part of the team. Their success this season can definitely be contributed to their closeness and how well they work together.”