For the first time since 1983, volleyball is returning to the athletic lineup of Oklahoma Christian University.
The new roster contains transfers, freshmen and returning Oklahoma Christian students. While they are not competing until next year, the players are excited to lay the groundwork for the upcoming inaugural season.
One of these players is Evyn Fitzgerald, a junior accounting major who transferred from Chatham University in Pittsburgh.
“I have played since 6th grade. When I transferred, I didn’t want to give it up,” Fitzgerald said. “Volleyball has been the place I can come when I’m stressed, mad, happy or excited.”
Fitzgerald spoke highly of the team this year and their plans going into the inaugural season.
“Our plan is to be disciplined and train for our first season,” Fitzgerald said. “What Oklahoma Christian volleyball is going to be starts the first time we step on the court for practice. I’m hoping we create a reliable foundation. We need to hold each other accountable and be unified as a team.”
The new freshman players also received praise from Fitzgerald.
“I love our team,” Fitzgerald said. “The girls are great team players, very skilled and have great attitudes about being the beginning of Oklahoma Christian volleyball.”
Having attended Oklahoma Christian since her freshman year, fellow junior Kaitlyn Woods had a different path to the volleyball team, but shares the positive outlook and excitement for the team.
“I have played volleyball my entire life, so going two years of not playing made me miss it,” Woods said. “There had been talk of a volleyball team starting for years, and it was always something that interested me, so when they officially announced the team and coach, I jumped at the opportunity.”
Since the team is not competing this year, Woods said the plan is to get ready for next season by growing as a team and by getting the word out to the community about the inaugural season.
“I am hoping this year the girls grow a lot,” Woods said. “Because most of the team consists of freshmen, I want them to adjust well to college life and find the best way of balancing all of it. I really want our team to be very close with each other but with others on campus as well. I am also hoping that this year will prepare us mentally and physically for next fall. We are in for a wild ride, and I want us to make the most of it. This opportunity is something that most people will never get to do. Starting a program is a very big deal, so our plan is to get our name out there.”