COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M volleyball team had a day off from its rigorous training regimen on Sunday, but the players were still hard at work, hauling a wide array of items as they welcomed and assisted new and returning Aggies to campus on Residence Hall Move-In Assistance Day.
The assistance day program was developed by the Department of Residence Life to help students move into the residence halls. Sunday is when the majority of students move into the halls.
“Today is crazy for the freshmen, probably the most stressful time of the year because they are leaving their parents and moving in,” senior opposite Alisia Kastmo said. “It was good to be able to give them a helping hand and to see their excitement as they start their freshman year and join the Aggie family.”
The athletes are used to working as a team, but it was one large congregation of volunteers assisting with the move in. The volunteers remained busy throughout their two-hour shift, and all shared in the appreciation.
“We are here because everyone needs a little help here and there,” freshman middle blocker Jazzmin Babers said. “It is only two hours out of our day, so it’s not that much at all just to help them move in.
“I loved helping them, and they were really happy and they said ‘thank you’ so many times. And it was awesome to see so many other people also helping and volunteering their time.”
”I was overwhelmed with the number of volunteers out here,” Kastmo added, “but it just proves that the Aggie Spirit is about helping each other.”
Participating in Move-In Day also gave the volleyball team an opportunity to meet and interact with the new students away from the court and attract new fans.
“It is exciting for the freshmen to see athletes out here and see that we are involved,” Kastmo said. “It also was fun for us to see them be excited to see the athletes helping. Several of them knew of the volleyball team and had seen us at Fish Camp and seen us around, so I know there are a lot of future volleyball fans here.”
“Some of them were like, ‘oh my gosh, I’m totally coming to your games,’” Babers added. “So it was fun.”
Babers also was glad to see her future classmates finally arrive to what has been a relatively quiet and empty campus since the team reported earlier this month.
“I’m glad that there are many more people here now,” she said. “We have been kind of lonely just hanging out, and now we finally get to meet new people.”
Kastmo, who graduated in August and will begin pursuit of a master’s degree in the fall, can envision herself volunteering again next year even though she will have completed her athletic eligibility.
“This was my fourth year to help, and it is still so much fun,” Kastmo said. “I’ll probably come back to help again next year since I’ll be here in the fall. It is so fun to just be involved and to be around the freshmen and see how excited they are to get started.”
Fans can get a glimpse of the 2012 A&M volleyball team on Monday as the Aggies hold a Maroon and White scrimmage beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Reed Arena.
The team will scrimmage for approximately one hour, and a question-and-answer session with head coach Laurie Corbelli and players will be held at the conclusion of the scrimmage.
Admission to the scrimmage is free and a limited number of team posters will be available.
Corbelli returns 10 letterwinners – including four starters plus the libero -- from last year’s team that went 23-8 and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament. She also welcomes one transfer and seven highly touted freshmen who represent the 20th-ranked recruiting class in the nation.
Corbelli will be going for the 500th victory of her head coaching career and her 400th A&M victory in her 20th season at the helm of the Aggies in the team’s season opener against Texas State at noon on August 24 at Reed Arena.
The Aggies also will play host to NCAA semifinalist and fifth-ranked Southern California at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 24 before concluding the tournament against North Dakota on Saturday, Aug. 25 at 12:30 p.m.