Following in the footsteps of her older sister, Marina “Wren” Berry fell in love with volleyball and strives to be a role model for her “sisters” on the volleyball team both on and off the court.
Berry, a junior, stepped up as a senior captain after the fall season. On the court, Berry has put up high numbers taking it upon herself to set up others before attempting to make a play by herself. She has reached the top ten for all players in both assists for the season and assists per set. She is also sitting at seventh place for all-time assists making her the only active player at the moment to break into the top ten for all-time assists.
Boasting high stats throughout the fall semester, Berry helped bring the varsity team to the CAC championship game with 27 assists in the semifinal and 40 during the final. As a setter for the team, she consistently puts up a majority of the team’s assists, averaging 9.15 assists per set. During the 2017 season, Berry had a total of 1016 sets which puts her behind only four other girls in the history of UMW volleyball.
Off the court, she sports the highest GPA on the team and uses that experience to talk to recruits and younger players about managing varsity sports with a full course load. According to Berry, the secret to keeping up with courses is a full-time obligation to the team. “Because your sports schedule is laid out for you, more than anything it gives you a structure. The time where you aren’t in class or in practice is the time you study,” she said.
Berry is a chemistry major who is working to be certified within American Chemical Society (ACS). The ACS is a premier scientific society and home of many professionals within the field of chemistry. Even with this hefty course load, she still finds time to prioritize her teammates.
The bond that is shared between the team was evident when interviewing Berry. Across the room, a teammate- Savannah Powers, a two-time all American- heard her voice and came over to see her.
Berry credits the size of the school as a factor in the close relationship between students. “It’s a small school so it’s like everyone is your family, everyone’s a friend.”
“Here it’s like you’re playing with your family. We all have our group message, and we all eat together every day. I think it’s something that’s very unique to the culture here at Mary Washington,” said Berry.
Volleyball has a strong connection to sisterhood for Berry. Through childhood, Berry idolized her sister and strived to follow in her footsteps within the sport of volleyball. Berry, being three years younger, had the opportunity to play with her sister all through her youth, and in high school played on the varsity team as a freshman with her older sister.
Here at UMW, Berry has carved out her own place among the UMW community. “I’m so glad I’ve found people that I love so much that I want to keep playing with.” Now, seven years later, Berry has taken it upon herself to be the role model for the rest of the team in the same way that her sister was for her. Throughout her past three years playing for the school, Berry has found a home with the volleyball team.