VC volleyball, basketball teams win conference titles (video)
April 16, 2013 at 11:01 p.m.
Updated April 16, 2013 at 11:17 p.m.
Josh Sanchez didn't realize it at the time, but he had just broken his elbow.
Sanchez, a sophomore at Victoria College, went in for a lay up against Southwest Texas Junior College in the semifinal game of the Texas Collegiate Club Sports League conference tournament and a defender got underneath him, sending Sanchez crashing to floor where he landed on his elbow.
"It hurt pretty bad, but I thought it was just a stinger. I didn't think it was broken," Sanchez said.
Sanchez didn't return to the game, which the Pirates won 102-92 in overtime. However, in the championship game the next day, he was back on the court.
"I just told myself to play through it and get it checked out later," Sanchez said.
He and the rest of the Pirates played the next day for the conference championship, where they defeated St. Phillips College 64-53. It was the school's first ever conference title, and Xavier Callis was named the tournament MVP and scored 14 points in the championship game.
"Honestly, it just felt like everything had paid off," Jordan Winston, who led the team with 16 points against St. Phillip's College, said. "I could take a deep breath and say, 'We did it.'"
The championship was made even better for the Pirates because they avenged a pair of losses earlier in the season to Southwest Texas Junior College and St. Phillips College.
"That was big motivation," Winston said. "It was almost like the perfect ending. I knew it was meant to be then."
That same weekend the women's basketball and volleyball teams won their conference championships. The Lady Pirates' basketball team joined its male counterpart in celebrating its first conference championship with a 70-53 win over Southwest Texas Junior College.
"We had to fight for everything we got that weekend," women's basketball coach Josh Moore said.
The volleyball team won its fourth conference title with a 3-1 (19-25, 25-20, 25-21, and 25 -22) victory over Trinity University.
"No words can describe how happy we were," said Allison Peters, who played for both the volleyball and basketball team. "All the work we put in the whole season came down to that one moment."
Peters was named the MVP of the women's basketball tournament and Gabbie Luna was named MVP of the volleyball tournament.
Victoria College doesn't have any athletic scholarships. Some of the players will go on to bigger colleges after two years. Some won't.
There isn't a whole lot of funding for the teams. The new basketball floors, scoreboards and uniforms were mostly raised through different fundraisers by the players and coaches.
"The college doesn't pay for everything. Some of the girls have to raise money for travel and stuff like that," Moore, who also coaches the volleyball team, said. "Coaches are not paid full-time like NCAA coaches."
Despite all of that, the young men and women practice, workout and play just as hard as athletes at other, larger schools.
So, what motivates them to keep on working and playing? What motivates them to risk serious injury, like the one Sanchez suffered?
"We're just playing for the love of the game," Peters said. "We're playing because we want to be there, not just because we're getting free schooling. Everybody here wants to be play and be here."
"It's just the love of the game that brings me out," Snachez said.