A Lot of Athletes

More people sign up for certain sports this year than in the past


Photo: courtesy Jillian Lee

The D1 volleyball team poses for a picture.

In 2022-2023 at University Prep, students noticed a change in the number of people on sports teams, especially in volleyball, where the teams were so large it was hard to get playing time, according to one athlete.
“I did really like volleyball this year because it was fun because a lot of my friends got on the same team as me,” seventh grader Keegan Jones-Vanderleest said. “It didn’t let me go in as much as I would have liked to during games, but I also get that you got to take turns and there were a lot of people.”
In a typical game, Jones-Vanderleest would get to play once each set, but during practice games she got to have the playing time that she valued.
“Finding enough playing time for everyone is hard. We don’t have enough space to have more than four MS volleyball teams without it affecting other sports/teams needing to use the Pumadome,” Assistant Director of Athletics Jonathan Kim said in an email.
This year it was difficult for the sports department to find spaces for teams to practice, and they ended up renting some spaces outside of the school.
Not only does UPrep have limited gym space, but this year there were many girls and boys who wanted to participate and try new things.
“It depends on what sport we’re talking about in a season,” Kim said. “For instance, volleyball. Our teams were huge.”
Kim added, “For basketball, I thought it was the perfect amount.”
There were 73 girls signed up for volleyball in contrast to basketball where there were 58 boys and 53 girls.
“The sport of volleyball is growing,” Kim said.
This means that girls are more eager to join and try it out. Kim added that many people played for a soccer club and chose to do volleyball with school.
Many students had to practice at Calvary Church on Roosevelt due to lack of gym space.
“I understand that they didn’t have a lot of gym space so we had to practice at Calvary sometimes, but we had less practice time on those days,” eighth grader Leah Berger said.
According to various D1 players, there was one hour for practice and fifteen of those minutes were spent in the bus with an additional five minutes to set up. Berger thinks an early dismissal on those days would give the team more time to warm up and practice.
Berger preferred when the teams split up into four instead of three to make each one a bit smaller.
“I liked the more playing time and smaller teams,” she said.