That's three practices a day plus weights on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays or sprints on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sleep was optional. Okay just kidding about sleep being optional but nowadays I believe women's volleyball athletic teams can only practice two times a day during preseason and a limited amount of hours of practice in season.
The intensity of women's college volleyball is high also because better players are competing among themselves to win a starting position on their team. If you want to play at game time you are going to have to earn your spot pushing yourself 100 percent every day and in every moment you can.
Size Does Matter
In women's college volleyball there's always a big(ger) block.
In girl's high school volleyball the big girl in the middle is obviously the tallest one on the team but in women's college volleyball many times the "big" girl is replaced by an even taller girl. Very simple math the big girl is transferred to the outside and the "bigger" girl is usually moved to the middle.
I was a 5'11" middle blocker all through high school but I was moved to the left as an outside hitter and replaced in the middle by a 6'1 Texan and a 6'3 Alaskan. Now there's a front row or a team full of mostly big girls who present a bigger block which freshmen hitters have to learn to hit over, hit by or hit past.
In women's college volleyball incoming freshmen players need to develop characteristics necessary to give 110 percent in volleyball practice or a volleyball game.
In women's volleyball you are required to focus, concentrate and play hard all the time. For most freshmen it takes a period of time for the brain and body to develop so they react and respond at faster and higher BUT controlled (and comfortable) intensity levels.
The body and brain need to adapt to new stress levels, new pressures, new speeds and once it does a player becomes comfortable playing at that new level.