Paul Regier, a junior in Academic Choice (AC), plays outside hitter on the Berkeley High School (BHS) men’s varsity volleyball team. As the season approaches during the COVID-19 pandemic, Regier hopes that BHS’s relatively small team will still have the opportunity to play together.
Regier began playing volleyball at age 11 on his middle school team. Volleyball was a fun hobby for him at the time, but it would become much more important to him as he grew older. “The summer of 8th grade, I started playing at the YMCA which is where I started to learn a lot more of the advanced steps on the game,” Regier recalled. “Freshman year I came to tryouts and instantly, I sort of bonded with a lot of the players …That’s when I really started to play,” he explained.
Because of COVID-19, the volleyball team has had a lot more trouble finding ways to play together as a team. “We haven’t really been able to get together as a full team yet,” said Regier. “We lost some of our seniors from last year and we don’t have any incoming freshmen yet, but some of us have made small bubbles of 2 or 3 people to practice with.” While practice is staying outdoors and socially distanced right now, having a smaller outdoor group isn’t necessarily all bad. Regier noted, “It’s still the same amount of practice time, and I get some one-on-one time with the coaches as well which is something I value, personally.”
Volleyball has also done a lot for Regier as a person. He explained, “It’s made me a lot more athletic. Over the past couple of years, I have been taking sports and exercise way more seriously — it has become a huge part of my life.” Volleyball has also had a huge social influence for Regier. “I met most of my really close friends through volleyball, during tryouts of my freshman season. They, along with volleyball, have really helped me grow as a person.”