Since their freshmen year, senior right side hitter Courtney Rollins and senior middle blocker Mandy Sedia have prepared for where they are today. Both Rollins and Sedia have stepped up and taken on the role as captains of the nationally ranked women’s volleyball team at the University of La Verne for the 2005 season.
Rollins and Sedia have been waiting to take their spots as captains. Both hold responsibilities as leaders of the team as well as teammates and friends to the other girls. Their main responsibility is to work hard and keep the team in focus.
“They go above and beyond a normal captain’s responsibilities,” freshman outside hitter Brittany Philippi said.
Philippi also mentioned that Rollins and Sedia serve as good representatives of the team to the coaches. They strive to improve the team through numerous ways including team meetings and leading and picking up the momentum during practices.
Rollins said that it is difficult at times to maintain focus on the game and not on the friendships because the girls are close on and off the court.
Rollins said that the loss of the six seniors who started and combined for 12 All-SCIAC and six All-American honors from last year’s team allowed for a lot of the girls on this year’s team to step up.
“We’re a young team, but we’re coming along real well,” Sedia said. “There is more of a competitive nature to earn your spot.”
“I think we’re doing a lot better than what people expected,” she added.
Currently, the Leopards are still among the top five in the national rankings. Rollins earned All-Tournament honors at both the Pacific Coast Classic and the Teri Clemens
Invitational held in September.
ULV defeated three top 25 teams in September alone.
“I think we surprised a lot of people,” Rollins said of the Leopards’ performance in these tournaments. “It gave us confidence to see where we will be at the end of the season.”
Sedia recently earned the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Athlete of the Week Award for the week of Oct. 5.
Rollins and Sedia have experienced three SCIAC championships and two final fours in their careers.
Both agreed that the Final Four during their sophomore year in 2003 was one of the best memories at ULV. Sedia and
Rollins mentioned seeing all the support from friends, family and other students made that experience so great.
Rollins and Sedia both played volleyball in high school as well as on separate club teams. With 10 years of experience, they both understand the importance of their roles as captains of the team.
“You can see it on the court. You can see their experience,” ?Philippi said. “They make smart plays.”
Currently, Rollins and Sedia are using their own knowledge and experience of volleyball as coaches at Club West, a local volleyball club for younger girls.
“It is a different experience playing the game and teaching it,” Sedia said. “It is teaching something you love and that is the best part.”
Rollins is originally from Hermosa Beach where she graduated from Bishop Montgomery High School.
She is a business administration major and plans to become a real estate broker after graduation.
Sedia is currently a movement and sports sciences major. Originally from Rancho Cucamonga, she is a graduate from Etiwanda High School.
Sedia plans to be an adaptive physical education teacher after graduating.
Sedia comes from a volleyball background where both her parents were volleyball players themselves.
Rollins and Sedia credit their parents who they say not only come to games but have been a great support in many ways.
“I’ll miss the girls and the friendships,” Rollins said of her last season with the Leopards.
“We have so many good times outside of the court too.”
Without their home court due to the construction of the Sports Science and Athletic Pavilion, Rollins and Sedia said that they miss playing on campus due to the number of fans who always come out to support the team and of course because its their home court.
The women’s volleyball team continues to be a dominant force.
With a young team and big shoes to fill, the odds are seemingly against them, but they continue to surprise and strive for their sixth straight SCIAC title.
Marilee Lorusso can be reached at email@example.com.