A Day in the Life: NAGVB

For student-athletes during playoff season, it can be challenging to balance the demands of school with the demands of competition.


photo by Chelsea Boyer

The North Allegheny Girls’ Volleyball tTeam gets ready to take on the Landisville Hempfield Black Knights

Chelsea Boyer, Social Media Director

The typical day of a student-athlete can get busy, especially during playoff season, when the need to succeed both on and off the court can demand efficient time management. Last Tuesday, the date of the PIAA Girls’ Volleyball Semifinal, began early and ended late for me and my teammates. In the end, it was worth the sacrifice.

I woke up around 7:00am, and washed my face. At 7:23, I logged into my first class of the day, which is English, and worked on my persuasive essay. On game days, I have to make sure I have as much schoolwork done as I can because I know I will not have much time later in the day.

After first period and during homeroom, I made my way upstairs to make breakfast. Eating breakfast is very important, especially on a game day because I need to fuel my body. My favorite breakfast is making oatmeal. I mix ½ cup of quick oats, ½ water, ½ of almond milk, and a splash of cinnamon. I microwave it for about two minutes and then mix it, topping it with blueberries and PBfit powder.

After breakfast, I continued with my classes and tried my best to get as much work done as possible. During my lunch break at 12:00pm, I usually catch up on assignments or work out, but today was a little different. Today our game was all the way in Altoona, which is about 2 hours away, so we were dismissed early.

Usually I would have biology at 12:49pm, but the team had to be at NASH by 1:15pm. At that time, we did a quick pass and serve and chatted to get prepared for the match. The game was not until 6pm, but we tried to get a warmup in to get into the right mindset.

At 1:45, we left NASH to make our way to the game. Before we got to Altoona, though, we made a pit stop at the Panera in Murrysville to grab a pregame meal. I ordered the Whole Green Goddess Cobb salad with no chicken or bacon and an apple on the side with a fruit cup (not sponsored).

On the bus, I tried to get some school work done and study a little bit, but the bus is never the ideal environment to do homework, so I gave in to a little distraction. A game our team loves to play is photo roulette, where we take random photos out of any of the players’ camera rolls and everyone has to guess whose camera roll it is from. It is a hilarious game that never fails to entertain us.

We arrived at Altoona High School around 4:45pm and had some time to get prepared for the match. We like to get pumped up and excited for our matches and have some crazy pre game rituals. Before every playoff game, we write, in Sharpie, hashtags or phrases on our stomachs. For example, someone will have “T4L” or “TIGERS EAT GOLD” written on their stomachs — it’s a tradition. I am not exactly sure who or how it started, but it is something we always do before playoff games.

At 5:30 we were allowed to have volleyballs and start our official warm-up. We started out with peppering, amtching up with our partners. After the officials had a short captains’ meeting to see who would serve first, we moved to our official timed warmup. Each team got seven minutes on the court to do their routine and then the match began.

There was a lot of pressure on this match because if we lost it would be the end of our season, and we would lose the chance to compete at states. The match was very close, and it created immense stress in all of us, but in the end we were able to defeat the Landisville Hempfield Black Knights 3-2. We celebrated the fact that NA Girls’ Volleyball will be competing for the PIAA state championship for the fourth consecutive year.

After the win, we celebrated in the locker room and had a quick reflection of the match. Then we headed back to the bus and made our way to a team favorite, Sheetz. We grabbed a nice post-game meal or snack, noticing that there were a lot of people in Sheetz without masks, which shocked us.

On the way back we ate, wound down, and enjoyed the ride. I was able to finish some homework on the bus, but the majority of the ride was spent sleeping and talking to each other.

We arrived at NASH around 10:45pm, and I got to my house around 10:50pm. I live close to NASH, so it is a short ride home. When I got home, I showered, drank water, and had to finish my homework. I also had to study for multiple tests, but I was able to go to bed around midnight.

Normally I get to bed earlier, but this was a big game day and was definitely on the busier side, but overall was a great day full of success. As we hope to bring home a fourth straight state title tomorrow, I know in my heart that the long days (and nights) might have been a challenge, but we wouldn’t be where we are as a team if we’d taken the easy route.