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The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Former SBCC football player makes transition to volleyball

Daniel Feldtkeller
Robet Gulvin was in the football program as a receiver for two years at City College but transitioned into playing volleyball Tuesday, Feb. 23, at La Playa Stadium. Gulvin has been pursuing volleyball with an ambition that has made him become the hardest hitter on the Vaqueros team making 52 kills in only six matches this season.

After a two year stint with the football program, Robert Gulvin decided it was time to move on from football, and see what havoc he could wreck on the volleyball court .

“I came here to be a receiver, and I didn’t get many passes meaning I didn’t have any film to send off to other colleges,” said Gulvin. “That’s when I decided to stop playing football and to try and pursue volleyball.”

Similar to many other multisport athletes entering an unfamiliar sport, Gulvin relies on his athleticism while he has been continuing to learn the minute details of volleyball.

“It’s a hard sport to learn, it’s a really technical sport that has a lot of skill involved, something you don’t realize until you start playing the sport,” said Gulvin. “I’m finally starting to get the hang of the sport and it’s my third year playing.”

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Gulvin alluded to the technical skills to be the most challenging for himself to master. He said skills such as passing and setting are the hardest to pick up, while skills like blocking and hitting come naturally to strong athletes.

“I was extremely raw skill wise,” said Gulvin. “I came in with athleticism but I didn’t have the skill aspects of volleyball down.”

Head coach Matt Jones said that Gulvin has come a long way from last year and progressed to being the best middle on the team this year.

“He’s always been a good athlete, but last season he was still pretty raw and was still learning how to play the game,” said Jones. “He was pretty lost last year on what we needed him to do defensively.”

Jones has noticed an improvement in Gulvin’s hitting, adding he believes Gulvin has the ‘heaviest’ arm on the team right now. However, the biggest improvement he’s seen in Gulvin is his read-blocking.

“It takes a great deal of time and reps to get these technical skills down,” said Jones. “We think he’s got a shot to transfer somewhere and play college volleyball.”

What helped the transition to volleyball so easy was the work ethic he had from playing football.

“He’s a hard worker, he wants to lift, and he’s always asking to do more reps,” said Jones. “He’s one of the hardest workers we’ve got.”

Through only six matches this season the sophomore middle blocker has tallied 52 kills, an average of 2.6 per set, while maintaining a hitting percentage of .538.

“There’s still a lot more for me to learn,” said Gulvin. “But I’m actually able to play the sport now instead of just getting in there and just being another body on the court.”

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