Courtside with the captains; who are the core four?
September 2, 2010
If one were to look up the word, ‘captain’ in the dictionary, one might find adjectives such as determined, hard working, dedicated and energetic. At least that is how the four captains of the women’s volleyball team described themselves. Under the definition, one might also find the headshots of Alyson Schroeter, Laura Anton, Megan Creen and Jenna Bean.
I recently sat down and spoke to the four captains about the role they play on the team and how the past few seasons have helped them grow as athletes and people.
Me: As captains you all obviously have leadership abilities. Who have been some of the role models in your lives who helped shaped who you are?
Alyson Schroeter: My club coach was a setter for Notre Dame and was the one who inspired me to play in college.
Laura Anton: My high school coach was a great role model and was always pushing me. She always got everything out of you that she wanted.
Megan Creen: My parents were both coaches and taught me to be a leader. I try to follow in their footsteps.
Jenna Bean: My teachers in high school were my role models. They forced me to be a leader academically. It’s something that is just part of my personality.
Me: Coach Shimmin must have been a role model to all of you as well. How has she impacted your lives both on and off the court?
A.S.: Off the court she has been a great influence on me and had an impact on my decision to come to Monmouth College in the first place. She also has a great intelligence for the game.
L.A.: She pushed me to be as competitive as I can be. She is someone I can always go to.
M.C.: Coach has helped me grow as a player, but she is also my advisor and has assisted me academically.
J.B.: She has definitely helped me fitness wise when it comes to working out during the season and even in the off-season. If she didn’t think it was important then I wouldn’t have either.
Me: With Alyson gone last year due to her knee injury, how much weight was put on your shoulders knowing you had lost a valuable contributor to the team?
L.A.: It was important for me to remind Alyson that she was going to be fine and she was going to come back. Coach told us that all we could do was move forward.
M.C.: A lot of weight was put on us. When people think about volleyball at this school, they think of her. The whole team stepped it up and we had to try out new things. We never gave up.
Me: What kind of example do you try and set for the rest of the team, especially the younger players?
A.S.: We want them to be dedicated. Just put it out there on the court and never give up.
J.B.: We are always trying to set an example. Even if something isn’t mandatory, the four of us always go to it.
Me: Laura, as the setter you are constantly in the middle of everything, whether it is a pass from Jenna, or a set to Megan or Alyson. What kind of relationship have you developed with the girls over the years?
L.A.: I love having them on the court. They are always there to pick me up. Megan is the type of player who can go anywhere on the court so even if my set isn’t great, she can get there. My weakness is defense and that is what Jenna is great at. Plus, we can always talk to each other.
Me: The team has a new motto this year; “One team, one heart, one dream. Fight till the end.” Who came up with it and what does it mean to all of you?
J.B.: We came up with the motto as a team. Last year we didn’t mesh very well so our focus this year is to work together as one unit.
Working together as one unit is something the captains have plenty of familiarity with as all of them have at least a decade of volleyball experience under their belt. Considering Anton, Creen and Bean are all roommates, and Schroeter lives a mere stone’s throw down the hall, the captains stressed the importance of always having someone there to go to.
By the end of this season, the word ‘champions’ might be the next place one can find the names Schroeter, Anton, Creen and Bean in the dictionary.
BY ADAM KINIGSON