By J1 Reporter Maria McLeay
Leaders are different in everyone’s eyes. Amanda Loshen and Amelia Roth are the two captains of the Marian Volleyball team. Both being juniors, it is impressive to be captains. Loshen is committed to University of South Dakota for college. Amelia Roth is an uncommitted junior in the Class of 2023. Both girls also play for the Nebraska Elite Volleyball Club.
Loshen has played volleyball since she was 10 whereas Roth tried many sports before deciding to play volleyball. She tried every sport in the book and was a multi- sport athlete for awhile but has played volleyball since she was 9. The ultimate decision of deciding between volleyball and dance was really hard for her but she knew because of her height she could pursue more in volleyball. Roth said, “ It was a hard decision, but I couldn’t be happier I chose volleyball.”
Loshen and Roth both play middle blocker which forms some healthy competition. Loshen has played on varsity for three seasons and Roth for two. Both girls were elected as team captains for the 2021 season. Being captain is a big responsibility because you are leading your whole team and looked up to a lot.
Amanda Draper is another junior on the team who is friends with the two girls. Draper said, “Even though I wasn’t a captain I tried to lead by example and always work hard which motivates the team as a whole.” Draper has played club with the two captains for a few years which means they are together all year round. “Amelia is really good at lifting the team up and really kept a good mojo going for us.” Having leaders who have that energy is so important. “Everyone on the team shows some kind of leadership in different ways” said Draper.
When elected, Roth said, “I was so excited to be a captain, but I was a little anxious to be honest.” She wanted the very best for her team. “ I put a lot of pressure on myself to be a good leader and want to win with Losh[Loshen] by my side.” The girls are close friends which makes this partnership work really well. She felt that if she and Loshen did it together, they would do great.
The two of the girls play on the same team all year round which forms great chemistry and teamwork to be captains. “We push each other to be the best we can be and we understand each other as an athlete and a person,” Roth said. Roth described a good leader as someone who sets out to make a difference to everyone and always puts your team before yourself. “Being a leader, I try to influence my teammates through motivation and compassion.” The girls said they always want everyone to feel like their team is a healthy environment.
Loshen says how it has always been a dream of hers to be a Marian captain ever since she started playing when she was 10. Loshen said, “I was overjoyed to be chosen as captain, especially with Amelia by my side.” Being a younger captain was scary for Loshen. “I was kinda nervous to be a junior captain, but my teammates learned along with me and I feel being a captain really improved my game,” Loshen said.
“Our roles as captains were to lead the team at games and practices by guiding them and making sure everyone was working hard while bonding as a team” said Loshen. The girls met with the coaches once a month to talk about the team and discuss things they needed to see more of from the team’s perspective. “Having an open line of communication with the coaches is so helpful to the success of our game” said Roth. The girls also led team huddles with pep talks which was on of the most important parts of their role.
The girls both said how their own game was improved while being a leader which can be hard to do sometimes. Their key was over communicating and understanding the game and teams needs at the same time. Loshen said, “It takes lots of motivation to bring the team along to success.”