Girls Volleyball: Rebuilds from Last Season, Taking on Higher Division and Tougher League

Jimmy Galindo, Staff Writer

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   This season, UC High’s Varsity Volleyball Team had a rough transition from dominating Division 2 and continuing on to CIF championships, to a new level of competition in Division 1.

   “Overall, I think it was a growing year for the team. We had our highs and moments of glory, but we also had our lows and moments of struggles. It was a tough year from the get-go and the odds were stacked against us right from the start, so that made for a challenging year,” said Varsity Head Coach Amanda Wiggins.

   Moving up a Division is always very difficult, especially after losing a lot of seniors who lead and contributed heavily to the championship-bound season last year. “Due to our success in our prior League, they moved us up to D1 this year and switched our League to a much tougher one. We also lost five of our starting seniors from last year’s team, so there were a lot of fresh faces on the court which created a whole different dynamic,” said Wiggins.

   The loss of many seniors made for a younger team this season. As stated by Wiggins,  chemistry and being comfortable working as a team was something that the girls picked up quickly.

   With the loss of the seniors and captains from last year’s dominating season, new captains and leaders had to be established. Senior Co-Captain Natalie Dhus was one to step up to the role. “Being captain was fun this year. There was some pressure but not too much. The captains could lean on each other and our group communicated pretty well,” said Dhus.

   The team moved up to Western League. With more competition, the team faced their set of challenging teams, finishing the season with the overall record of 10-21. “We took last place in League. We went 1-7– it was a very tough season,” said Wiggins.

   Wiggins elaborated on specific challenges the team faced, “We were one of the shortest teams in our League, so what we lacked in height we had to make up for in grit, scrapiness, and athleticism.” Wiggins also added that the girls had out-battle most of the teams they played with primarily their defense and quickness, which forced them to focus on different aspects of the game.

  There is always rebuilding that needs to be done, especially after losing multiple starters from the previous outstanding season. “The rebuild was an interesting process. We began to work together as a group quicker than I had expected, and we had a ton of fun playing with each other,” said Dhus.

   “Our team definitely improved from the start of the season to the end. In the beginning, we were all really quiet on the court. But as the season progressed we got more and more invested in the game, and it was super fun to play with an energetic team,” said Co-Captain Junior Nicole Muttera. The season started out slow, but the pace quickly increased.

   Wiggins was proud to see that the girls had been able to mentally step up. “Some of the biggest things the girls improved on was their attitude, effort, and team chemistry. With some new faces on the court, the girls had to get used to being on the court with each other and feel comfortable with the group that was out there and trust them to do their job,” said Wiggins.

“The future of the Girls Volleyball Program looks bright. We have determined, disciplined, driven, and experienced players with the will to win, get things done,” remarked Wiggins. The program hopes for a hard-working future generation to help the Lady Cents fight to stay amongst high-level competition.

   Overall, the Lady Cents had a challenging season of rebuilding that tested their team dynamic, as well as bring the best out in all of the players.

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