A boys volleyball team consisting of Marshall students has seen early success in its first season but struggled due to unofficial status.
Players said a lack of student interest and game attendance has been an ongoing issue for the team, which they blame on the lack of recognition from the Virginia High School League (VHSL) for boys volleyball.
“I think it is quite difficult to gain some recognition from the student body as a whole, simply because we aren’t an official team in the VHSL,” libero and junior Nawfal Elwannas said. “If we were to be a part of the league, have home games, play in front of a home crowd and get support from Marshall Athletics, [we would reach a whole new audience].”
The lack of student interest results in high schools forming clubs rather than an established sport with JV and varsity teams.
“[Boys volleyball] is a good experience, but I wish it was more popular in America, so it would be a more competitive area,” setter and sophomore Emre Yavuz said.
In an effort to increase student support, the team has taken to social media to promote their games.
”We have an Instagram account, which is @gcmboysvolley, where all posts about games and results are shared,” Elwanas said. “Besides that, we’ve been spreading the word about games and the team as a whole to our friends and peers.”
The team had tryouts on September 13th and a week later competed in their first games. Now a month out of tryouts, they hold a record of 14-2.
“It feels amazing to be able to have this much success considering the fact that we only started playing with each other as a team nearly a month ago,” Elwannas said. “To look back and see how far we have all come [as] individuals and as one team just shows the determination and commitment [of the team].”