On the morning of game days, Zayna Meyer usually receives a good luck text from her mother, especially if it’s an important game.
The Long Beach State volleyball player built a routine of eating breakfast with her roommate, a small tradition that’s been notable for Meyer as a college athlete during her time at The Beach.
Being a student-athlete, Meyer usually doesn’t go to classes on game days, which allows her to be fully prepared for upcoming matches by focusing solely on volleyball and the team.
But life as a student-athlete is hard, according to Meyer. One of the major difficulties she faces is having to keep up with a busy schedule of athletics and academics. She misses classes often during the season due to away games and travel.
“I think all the professors are pretty understanding here at Long Beach,” Meyer said. “Professors have been gracious and given extensions, even when I’m gone.”
Meyer would use the extra time to her advantage and prepare for upcoming volleyball team fixtures.
The Wheaton, Ill. native uses a NormaTec – a compression and massage device – to prepare for her upcoming contest. The device allows faster blood flow and fast recovery time, helping Meyer during game days.
She added that the volleyball team would say a quick prayer in the locker room before they hit the game floor. After pre-game warmups concluded, team member introductions began.
Meyer has another routine with one of her teammates.
“When we all lineup on the end line before they call starters out, I [would] stand next to Dylan [Dela Cruz] our libero, I would just tap her and ask ‘how you doing Dylan,’ a little routine we always do,” Meyer said.
During the middle of the game, Meyer says the support from the crowd helps her and her teammates keep the energy up.
“When we’re playing at home and there’s a bigger crowd, it definitely fuels our team,” Meyer said. “When we get a big point and the [Walter Pyramid] erupts, that definitely helps our team.”
Meyer describes she and the rest of the team would “cool down” with a stretching exercise after the contest whether they win or lose. She’s usually one of the last team members in the locker room if they do happen to not win a game.
It’s a different atmosphere when they win feeling “super hyped” and “joking around” with each other, celebrating.