The Lady Crusaders of the University of Dallas volleyball team are more than just athletes. They are scholars and accomplished women who have achieved many things in their lifetime. But what is it really like to be part of the UD women’s volleyball team?
During the day, all of the young women attend their classes and pursue their education, much like you and me.
When asked about her experience on the volleyball team, Andi Wagner said: “Not only was I able to take something I loved doing into college, but I also gained a second family away from home! Balancing schoolwork with practice and games has definitely been challenging, but over time planning and scheduling has helped a lot.”
All of these women have ambitions and are often seen around campus, but what separates them from the rest of the student body is their dedication to volleyball. They practice to perfect their sport and try their hardest to balance academics and athletics.
Dayjah Whyte states: “University of Dallas volleyball is kind of like a second family. During our season we spend a majority of our time together and we really have a chance to bond and get to know each other, which helps strengthen our chemistry on the court.”
These women clock in two hours of practice everyday for conditioning and lifting after practices. Not only do they play games here at the Maher Center, but they often have to travel to other states and college campuses to play.
They have acquired some of the best time managing skills while maintaining good academic standing. The team is often seen enjoying meals together, sometimes making the occasional Chick-fil-A run.
They make an effort to spend time together outside of practice and school. They study in groups in order to help facilitate the academic-athlete balance, while simultaneously fulfilling their need to spend quality time with one another. They’ll grab a coffee and study at the Cap Bar in small groups in various rooms on campus.
Chloe Ilagan perfectly summed up her favorite things about UD volleyball: “Being on the UD volleyball team is my favorite part of attending UD because of the girls. They’re all incredibly supportive and so easy to talk to, and I have the opportunity to play the sport I love with people who enjoy it too. It requires a lot of hard work, but everything is worth it because of the memories we all make together during practices, travel games, and home games.”
The volleyball culture of UD is built on the strong bond these women share together. Their triumphs and shortfalls are borne by all of them as a team and as a family.