The COVID-19 pandemic left many students stuck in their dorms, some with the familiarity of friends — but juniors outside hitter Jacob Pasteur and setter Noah Platfoot were total strangers.
Pasteur and Platfoot were paired up as roommates their freshman year in accordance with Ohio State’s quarantine protocols for students staying on campus in 2020 while student-athletes for the men’s volleyball team.
“It was the first time having a roommate for me,” Pasteur said. “I don’t think we even liked each other at that point.”
Both had to learn about each other’s likes and dislikes while sharing a singular space.
One aspect of sharing a space that roommates develop over time is boundaries to maintain certain levels of privacy within that space. Since they were unable to leave their room, Pasteur said it was difficult to maintain his solitude.
“It was the first time I felt I kind of lost all my privacy,” Pasteur said. “I’m on the same schedule as somebody, everything I say and do is within the realm of him knowing.”
As the COVID-19 protocols relaxed in 2021 and students were able to leave their rooms more often, that’s when the teammates’ relationship grew.
Platfoot said the two were able to get to know each other outside of team workouts.
The two went out to eat at local Columbus restaurants and took up each other’s hobbies, such as playing golf together, which built their trust on the volleyball court.
“We know how to talk to each other on the court and that was just due to how we took advantage of the opportunities sophomore year,” Platfoot said.
Having good-standing relationships off the court helped build trust and confidence between each other.
The two grew close enough that they could tell how each other were feeling without it having to be said.
“You know how the other person feels,” Platfoot said. “You understand why they are acting the way they are. You’re not questioning it, you’re understanding it.”
As third-years, Pasteur and Platfoot are using their newly developed bond to expand their leadership styles for the team on and off the court.
“We realized that one person can’t lead the whole team,” Pasteur said. “Even superheroes need help.”
The duo uses their bonding experiences to connect with their teammates, building better relationships as a team every year.
“I feel like our relationship-building and our culture this year has been the best it’s been,” Platfoot said. “I think that plays into a huge role in our success.”
The men’s volleyball team is on a four-match winning streak at 15-9 overall, sitting third in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association conference standings.
Pasteur has a MIVA-high 328 kills with a .323 hitting percentage, 151 digs and 29 service aces. Platfoot has 540 assists, 13 kills and 84 digs.
Pasteur and Platfoot don’t currently live together, but they plan to during their senior years.
“Definitely looking forward to it and still hang out often,” Platfoot said.
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