West Shamokin grad makes quick adjustment to college volleyball
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College classes may have started this week for Jill Glover, but the West Shamokin grad was already well into her school routine.
Glover, a freshman outside hitter for the women's volleyball team at Edinboro, is working her way through her first preseason in preparation for the Fighting Scots' opening matches of the season Sept. 6 in Clarion's Tony Banner Invitational.
The transition to college volleyball has been a good one for Glover, but West Shamokin's leader in kills and digs last season said there were adjustments that began with her first week of practice before classes began.
“We have two-hour, three-a-day practices. With setup and moving between gyms, it takes up most of the day, and I'm definitely tired at the end of it,” Glover said.
An athletic 6-footer on the outside, Glover is one of Edinboro's tallest players and is expected to compete for playing time on a team that has just one senior and three juniors on the roster. But in trying to secure a spot in the lineup early in the year, Glover has put a lot of work into both the physical and mental aspects of her game.
“It's a totally different level, and everyone here is obviously better than high school,” Glover said. “There are a lot of harder hits coming at you, so technique and footwork become a lot more important.”
Glover also has adjusted on the attacking end of things. Where certain shots would work against high school players, a greater level of precision and strategy is needed to finish plays against her college teammates, and eventually, opponents.
“It's not just about hitting the ball hard, but you have to hit it smart,” Glover said. “I have to get low to make good passes, and I have to think more about the placement of where I hit the ball.”
Beginning practice before the start of classes on Monday gave Glover time to spend time with her new teammates, including six other freshmen on the Edinboro roster. As she is getting the hang of life on the college court, she's also excited to begin the academic side of her college career.
“My teammates and I have had time to get to know each other. There are ice baths in the training room after practice, and we eat breakfast, lunch and dinner together,” Glover said.
“With classes starting, I'm excited to get into a routine and really getting to know where everything is on campus, not just the gyms. I'm still going to be putting a lot into volleyball, but I'm ready for class.”
When volleyball starts for the Scots, who have four matches scheduled for their two days at Clarion, Glover hopes to be one of the players on the court, whether in a starting or substitute role.
Edinboro is coming off an 11-22 season and the first season since 2006 that the team missed the NCAA Division II tournament, which means Glover and the rest of the Scots' large freshmen class come in with the challenge of getting the team back to its previous level.
“I'm really excited for games to start, and a little nervous, too,” Glover said. “We'll see how things play out, but hopefully I get a chance to play and prove to my coaches that I can do it.”
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Grubba_Trib.
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