Women’s volleyball and tennis teams use sports to serve

Biola athletics impact the local community

May. 15, 2012 By Tenielle Schroeder and Ashleigh Fox

The women’s tennis and volleyball teams have eagerly adopted Biola’s mission to impact the world for Christ by using their God-given talents to improve the lives of people around them. Both teams have invested time in helping others by putting their passion for athletics toward a good cause.

The women’s tennis team gives back to the community through an annual service project called Campus Kids Day. This spring, the team did a preview of that event as they rallied together to hold a tennis festival for the youth of Brawley, California.

During the first half of the day, the team served alongside coach Mike Palacio of Imperial Valley Community College. Biola women’s tennis team had the opportunity to connect with young elementary-age children by teaching them the basics of tennis. To enhance the children’s overall experience, the girls interacted with them and awarded them with trophies for hitting well.

After the tennis festival, the team tried to motivate the junior high and high school teams by joining their afternoon practice. During this time, the women’s team played doubles with the men’s high school tennis team. They also reached the players on a personal level by encouraging them with the idea of attending college and presenting the high school men’s team with brand new tennis balls.

“It was great to be able to play with kids who don’t have a lot of opportunity given their background, and as a team share our love of Christ through our love of tennis,” said Biola freshman Lauren Vogel.

Head coach Dee Henry was especially aware of the impact it made on the children.

“Seeing a couple of the little girls look up to our players so much that that they even came after school to visit them again was touching.”

The Biola volleyball team has worked with Knott Avenue Christian Church the past four years as referees for the churches' community outreach program. This year, junior outside hitter Nicolette Mather and junior setter Justine Schoneveld encouraged the community as they refereed several volleyball games. The program gives people with difficult financial situations a chance to get connected with the church through sports. They form teams for friendly competition and mentors on the teams also lead them through devotionals and prayer.  

“It is great to see how the players grow over the 12 weeks. They start becoming more respectful and considerate,” said Schoneveld.

Schoneveld’s and Mather’s played a peacekeeping role among the teams. The two scholar-athletes focused on being kind-spirited and patient as they worked as referees. Schoneveld said she views it as an opportunity to share Jesus’ love with the world.


Both the volleyball and tennis teams understand the importance of service as they continue to use their gifts to reach others.

Written by Tenielle Schroeder and Ashleigh Fox, Media Relations Interns. For more information, contact Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Coordinator, at 562.777.4061 or at jenna.l.bartlo@biola.edu.

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