The King Volleyball team just closed a thrilling season, taking home both New England and FAA titles. Their games were packed with emotion as the team repeatedly delivered peak performances under intense pressure. With a focus on strength and conditioning training to maximize the physical game, and meditative quotes to hone the intellectual game, the team’s success is built on a long road of cultivating personal accountability and group collaboration.
Well before the season began, the players were in the gym with King’s Strength and Conditioning Coaches Bonnie Roberts and Ron Monroe. Roberts ran sessions in the weight room throughout the summer while Monroe worked with the team from the preseason through the fall.
“Ron and Bonnie helped us build so much endurance and stamina over the season,” said player Vivi Mansfield ’25. “They prepared us for long rallies and matches by keeping us strong and fit.”
Strength and conditioning is a key component to the King Athletics program. The coaches collaborate with students creating plans that take a scientific approach to training. Together with athletic trainers Katie Bryant and Emma Jonsson, Roberts and Monroe work to keep athletes as healthy as possible while guiding them toward excellence.
“They were very attentive and flexible when finding different workouts that fit the needs of every individual on the team,” said Vivi of the volleyball team’s program, which featured an emphasis on agility, injury prevention, and overall strength.
As they trained, the athletes developed a connection that gained momentum throughout the season. They drew on this during the final games.
“Perseverance is the King virtue that stuck out the most, especially during the FAA tournament final game with Sacred Heart,” said Coach Stephanie Roones, who guided the team this season while Head Coach Kat Wells is out on maternity leave. “Sacred Heart won the first two sets and we knew that if we did not turn things around, it would end in the third set. Each player locked in and fought for each point in the deciding set. They persevered through the heat, humidity, and noise of the gym to rally and battle for the championship, a goal that they set in the beginning of the season.”
It was no mistake that perseverance stood out to Roones, the players started the season with an intention.
“Perseverance was one of the objectives we strived for throughout our season and I think we really embodied it throughout,” said player Carolina Frisoli ’24. “Having a 22-0 record was easier said than done, and I think we can credit that to all of the times in practice when we pushed ourselves to be that championship-winning team we all strived for.”
Over the last few seasons, the team has incorporated a tradition of reading quotes before each game, using them as an intentional source of inspiration and contemplation. Before one of their championship matches, they read a classic poem by Dale Wimbrow called “The Man in the Glass,” which calls the reader to consider their reflection in a mirror.
“The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.”
This intellectual approach, along with the physical training, came together on the court.
“I was able to see the team's kindness and respect displayed through their sportsmanship throughout the season,” said Roones. “As the players grew individually in their confidence and skills, they also grew together and learned to trust each other on the court.”