By Tommy Schall
The 2013 season hasn't started the way the St. Louis Community College Archers women's volleyball team expected. The Archers are 0-6-1 on the season, but the team is still managing to be optimistic. Freshman Sammie Weaver has been helping the Archers compete this year anyway she can. The freshman is having a fine start to the season and should continue that success for the rest of the season.
Weaver actually didn't play for her high school volleyball team. “I actually didn't play volleyball in high school. I played softball instead because the two sports overlapped,” she explained. “I played club ball though, and the competition varied from better teams than we face now to much lower.”
It was a meeting with her coach one day that led her to the Archers team. “I contacted Johnna, my head coach, and she had me come out for a tryout. She had me set (I'm a setter) and hit, and right away she offered me a position on the team,” she said. Weaver is realistic about her expectations for the rest of the year and knows that her team works hard when they step out on the court. “I'm not expecting us to finish with a winning season because unfortunately it just isn't realistic. We have a wide variety of skill level,” said Weaver. “Our team plays with a lot of heart, and because of that, we can compete with everyone we play. My expectation for our team to improve our team chemistry so we can hopefully get some more W's. For myself, I am hoping to improve my skill level to prepare me for higher level ball.”
Weaver has not let playing on a higher level affect her. “My expectations for college volleyball were about what I expected them to be. We practice very hard everyday, and the sport pretty much consumes all of my time. College volleyball is much stricter than any other sport I've played. We have a lot of rules to follow, and we very much suffer when they are broken.” It seems as if the only thing that has fazed Weaver about being a college athlete is her hectic and busy schedule. The average college athlete can't handle the workload.
Weaver admits that it has been tough but is manageable, “I used to work almost everyday, and I now can only work on Sundays because of volleyball,” she said. “It's hard committing all of my time. It's tough balancing school, volleyball, work, and a social life, but it honestly only keeps me focused on the important things. I was offered a spot on the Meramec softball team for the spring season, but I am still debating if I am actually going to play.” If Weaver continues her hard work and determination, nothing should be out of reach.
Making the best out of a free education is something admirable about Weaver. “I am in the pre-dental program, and I am on the A+ program at STLCC. I am hoping to get a volleyball scholarship to a university after my two free years are over to continue my education for orthodontics.” For Weaver, the sky is the limit.