Svehla continues rekindled love for volleyball
Before she was the leader of the GC volleyball team, a preseason all conference selection, and the 2015 PBC freshman of the year, Taylor Svehla was a girl burnt out from volleyball.
Svehla began playing volleyball when she was eight. Both of Svehla’s parents played sports in high school, so volleyball was in her blood.
“I really think [my parents] have given me the set of tools and values that I need to be successful in the sport I’m playing,” Svehla said.
She said she fell in love with the game the summer before her freshman year of high school. For Svehla, volleyball has always been about the people around her.
“I played outside with my best friend every day,” Svehla said. “We would play until it was dark outside, and we had to go play under the street lights. That was the best part: being able to hang out with a friend and do something we love.”
As a freshman and sophomore in high school, Svehla said there were many big schools looking at her to play volleyball at the next level. But in her junior season, her volleyball future hit a stall.
“When I was a junior, I kind of wasn’t feeling it anymore. I reached the point of burn out and decided I wasn’t going to play in college,” Svehla said.
Instead of playing her junior season in high school, she decided to start coaching younger girls but quickly began to miss the game.
“I saw their raw emotion and enjoyment of the game, which reminded me why I loved it and what I was missing out on,” Svehla said. “I realized I could still play another four years. I didn’t have to be done.”
Her decision to get back into the game set her on a path that brought her to GC.
“From the first time I visited, I wasn’t sure why, but I just had a feeling that this is where I was meant to be,” she said.
Since coming to GC, Svehla said she has grown both on and off the court. In her time here, she’s had to battle through tough semesters while working towards improving her game on the court. However, Svehla said that all of the adversity she has go through have made her tougher.
“Being able to overcome obstacles in front of you is always a good thing,” Svehla said “It’s never easy, but it’ll make you stronger in the end.”
Krumdieck noted Svehla’s team-first mentality even when things aren’t going her way.
“Even when she doesn’t get set, she is still doing her job and holding her blockers,” Krumdieck said. “She’ll just scream like she’s going to get the ball, and our center can kick it out to the outside hitter, and that gets them in a one-on-one situation because two blockers are on Taylor. Even when she doesn’t get the ball, she’s setting her teammates up for success.”
Learning how to overcome adversity is just one component to her development. She’s no longer just a talented player; she’s grown into the leader of the team.
“I’ve matured a lot in the way I communicate with my coaches and with my team,” Svehla said. “I see things in perspective. I’ve definitely become a more mentally strong player.”
Her coach agreed and elaborated on her importance to the team.
“She’s very passionate and fiery,” Krumdieck said. “It’s been really fun to watch the team respond to her and use her passion to fuel their fire.”
Reflecting on her three years playing on the team at GC, Svehla said that she is satisfied with her experience here and that everyone who has gone through this experience with her has impacted her.
“Everything has been so important,” Svehla said. “I wouldn’t be able to do it without coach there or having my teammates there. Everything plays a role.”
Though her playing days are coming to a close, Svehla said she hopes her love of volleyball translates into coaching.
“I want volleyball to be a part of my life for a very long time.”