By Marisa Ross
Player Profiles: Shelby Vas Matt
Shelby Vas Matt: Honestly, I moved to Oregon from Washington and I made a friend. I was a big basketball person. I made a friend. She was like, “You have to come play volleyball with me.” I was like, “I am not gonna like volleyball.” [I] played it, tried out, made the team and it just took over my life since fifth grade.
Vas Matt, a sophomore from Happy Valley, Ore., said she enjoys all aspects of volleyball.
SVM: I love volleyball. I love everything from being able to dig a really hard ball to being able to hit the snot out of the ball. You know, you can’t do that in any other sport.
Vas Matt’s parents provided support and suggestions to help her improve her game.
SVM: In high school I was really undersized, and so they kept pushing me, they really pushed me with working out so I can jump and become the best, so they really helped me; it’s just having the unconditional love and support from back home. Like, I will call home, I don’t care if I play terrible or great, it’s the same message: “I love you, I’m proud of you, keep it up.”
One phrase that helps Vas Matt, as well as her freshman teammates, stay focused and motivated has translated to the overall feel and goal of the season.
SVM: I think, especially with us youngins, my favorite saying is, “Feel the fear and do it anyways.”
Vas Matt recalls her first year on the volleyball team. She also said she’s pleased and impressed with the new freshmen and their performances so far.
SVM: I remember as a freshman I was really nervous to play. We have our freshmen nervous to play and, you know, you’re gonna be nervous, but you feel it and you just perform, and Lauren Kirch, she’ s really stepped it up. Jordan Kohl’s been doing great, so I’m really proud of them.
Vas Matt took it upon herself to become a leader, not only for the team but also the freshmen.
SVM: I mean we have our leaders on the team, but I feel like I really can help out our freshmen a lot since I was in that role. Then, just having to go from, “Hey, you’re a freshman. Just, you know, do your job,” to “Hey, you’re a sophomore now, you need to pick it up,” I tried to help lead the team and just get better every year.
In addition to being a leader, Vas Matt made a personal, simple goal.
SVM: As a personal goal, I really just want to do the best I can to help this team win.
There are two goals Vas Matt feels can be accomplished this season: to come even closer as a team and to get better each game.