Written By: Ariana Pena
Being a part of NUVB for these past 2 seasons has shown me the true meaning of RISES; the R represents reverence, and for NUVB this means playing for each other, at every practice and game. We push and motivate each other to our fullest potentials as players, and as teammates, we help each other become the best versions of ourselves. As a team we recognize that everyone is important and plays a role in our successes; regardless if you are the starting six or on the bench. Each and every person makes this team what it is, due to our unique attributes, mindsets and personalities, along with all the traditions we uphold. We recognize that our individuality is what makes each of us sacred.
In the last 6 minutes of our warm-up before taking the court, we come together as a team to say a prayer written by our chaplain, Denise. She always knows the right thing to say, even when she isn’t physically with us. The prayers she writes inspires us to play our hardest, because she reminds us why we play and who we play for. Denise does a great job of reassuring confidence in ourselves and our capabilities as a team, because at times we tend to lose faith when things get tough. Her prayers constantly inspire us to play our hardest and show what NUVB can really do. In addition to our team prayer, I pray the night before to reassure myself of the strength and confidence God provides me with to carry it onto the court.
When the buzzer goes off and the game is about to begin, we exemplify reverence when we shake hands with the other team while saying “play hard”; this lets the other team know that we are going to give it our all and expect them to do the same. Once I get into position, standing in front of the net, everything changes; nothing else matters, except for my teammates and this game that’s about to be played. They’re so many thoughts that run through my head but the only one that matters is playing my hardest and doing what my team needs from me to help win this game; that’s what makes this such a sacred place for me. It gives me a sense of comfort and a temporary distraction from my everyday life; the only thing that matters is our relationships within the NUVB family and volleyball.