SAN ANTONIO (May 15, 2019) - The Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) Saints volleyball program wrapped up a productive spring early in May with an open gym followed by a pizza party to celebrate the previous three months of work.
First-year Head Coach Scott Mattera commented, "We just wanted to finish what was a great offseason by having some fun playing ball together and sharing an informal meal. With our program undergoing so much change this spring, our focus has been on trust and relationship-building. We want to get to a place where we are playing based on love; love of what we do, love of our community, and most of all, love for each other. We've taken some big steps in that direction, and I think you can see that just from the amount of fun we are having while still working our tails off. There's a lot of joy in our gym right now." Mattera became the head coach in February of this year.
The spring, which included significant weight-room work, lots of court work, regular individual meetings and team culture lunches was punctuated by a very successful spring tournament at Trinity University in which the Saints showed their unique mix of hustle and fun. Coach Mattera quipped that "We are at our best when we are right at the edge of too goofy. We have a way of blending fun with focus. When we are smiling, laughing, and hitting the floor for every ball, we are a really fun team to watch and a really hard team to beat!"
The Saints also renewed their focus in the classroom and the community through things like regular individual meetings to discuss classes and projects and by connecting with the Sisters of Divine Providence via an ice cream social. "A quality life is about balance and understanding your 'why'. We love volleyball, but it's not our whole identity. Getting it done in the classroom is job one for our student-athletes. We also take very seriously our obligation to connect with and inspire our community."
In addition to all of the work and activities, the Saints were able to add five recruits to the volleyball family. Putting together a recruiting class in less than three months held concerns for Mattera, but he is excited about the doors that opened; "I am so grateful that we were able to put together such a solid class in such a short time. We were able to add some great talent and depth volleyball wise, but we also added great people as evidenced by their average GPA of 3.66! So much credit goes to our current players for being so welcoming to the recruits and being key parts of our visits."
Now that the spring semester is over, plans are in the works for summer training and open gyms and a recruit camp in July. Saints fans are encouraged to stay tuned in the coming weeks as the volleyball team will soon present its incoming class of 2019, announce camp dates and release the 2019 fall match schedule.