Volleyball team goes to Hawaii, Texas

Tanya Marsh

Tanya Marsh

Athletes are used to traveling for games. But the SDSU volleyball team is taking this to an extreme with a trip to Hawaii and Texas from Sept. 2 through Sept. 13.

But it will hardly be a vacation. Head volleyball coach Andrew Palileo explained the team’s busy schedule.

“We’re playing nine matches in eleven days, plus the traveling,” he said.

Many of the nine matches will be against stiff competition, including games against three Division II teams rated in the nation’s top 20 and several games versus Division I teams, he said.

The team, too, knows the games could be battles.

Sarah Biggerstaff, senior and team tri-captain, said Hawaiians are notoriously tough volleyball players.

“It’s hard to say (what to expect) because these are teams we haven’t played in the past,” she said, “but any team from Hawaii is going to be tough because they’re a big volleyball state down there and they’re all ranked.”

The team hopes to rise to the challenge. Carley Boll, sophomore and team tri-captain, is looking to showcase the team’s talent.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how the team plays and to playing some big teams,” she said.

Despite the strength of the opposition, Biggerstaff said she felt the team was well-prepared to take them on.

She cited an extra two weeks of captains’ practices this summer as a confidence-booster.

“The extra practices really helped the freshmen ease into it. They’ll be a lot better prepared than I was,” Biggerstaff said.

Palileo also said he feels the team is ready for the challenge.

“We’ve been having a good fall camp,” he said. “The chemistry is coming together the way we hoped it would, with the new players and the returning ones.”

Boll echoed the sentiments of her coach and teammate.

“I think we’re ready. Our coach has prepared us well. He lets us scrimmage a lot and work out some kinks,” she said.

The team can hardly be over-prepared, especially considering subsequent games and time zone changes.

“It’ll be hard with the time zones changing,” Boll said. “Hawaii is five hours different from El Paso.”

Biggerstaff noted that Sept. 8, 9 and 10 all have matches scheduled.

“It’ll be interesting to see how we hold up,” she said.

Though some parts of the trip may wear on the athletes, there are times of relaxation planned.

Since Palileo is from Hawaii, he will be able to show the team around, Biggerstaff said.

“It’s an extra little perk,” she said.

Palileo said he has made some arrangements for the women.

“We’re planning on trying to go to a luau and a few secluded beaches that I know because I’m from there,” he said.

Also on the agenda in Hawaii is snorkeling, hiking to some waterfalls and visiting a flea market as large as a football stadium.

Between sight-seeing and athletics, Biggerstaff said she expects the trip to be fun.

“I’ve been hearing about it for so long I can’t even believe it’s really going to happen,” she said