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Learning to play ‘all around’

Being on varsity since freshman year makes team stronger

+%E2%80%9CAll+of+the+girls+on+the+team+have+different+skills+to+offer%2C%E2%80%9D+said+coach+Juan+Martinez%2C+working+here+with+Cheyanne+Gaines.+%E2%80%9CWhen+all+the+girls+bring+those+skills+together+they+are+unstoppable.++They+are+a+fun+group+of+girls%2C+I+wouldn%E2%80%99t+trade+them+for+any+other+team.%E2%80%9D
 “All of the girls on the team have different skills to offer,” said coach Juan Martinez, working here with Cheyanne Gaines. “When all the girls bring those skills together they are unstoppable.  They are a fun group of girls, I wouldn’t trade them for any other team.”

“All of the girls on the team have different skills to offer,” said coach Juan Martinez, working here with Cheyanne Gaines. “When all the girls bring those skills together they are unstoppable. They are a fun group of girls, I wouldn’t trade them for any other team.”

Kevin Gutierrez

Kevin Gutierrez

“All of the girls on the team have different skills to offer,” said coach Juan Martinez, working here with Cheyanne Gaines. “When all the girls bring those skills together they are unstoppable. They are a fun group of girls, I wouldn’t trade them for any other team.”

Freshman tryouts — the nerves rushing through you, the summer conditioning you have to endure, and the people you’re all competing against, yet you still make it to a level you weren’t expecting. For sophomore Karis Carter, Charnaya Stewart and junior Cheyanne Gaines, this was the case.

Going to conditioning for volleyball the summer of 2016, Carter, Stewart and Gaines didn’t expect to be promoted right away to varsity, but that’s what their coach Juan Martinez had in mind for them.

Each of the girls said they felt a sense of gratitude as they walked up to that piece of paper that had their names under “Varsity 2016-2017.”

“I feel like I earned my spot as the middle player on the varsity team,” Carter said. “I feel like being put on varsity from day one has made me a better player.”

Carter said that she’s always had a love for volleyball and being able to be at the same level that her sister was at puts her at ease.

Carter also mentioned that even though she wasn’t sure she would make it, looking back on it she couldn’t see herself starting off on the freshman team.

“If I played on freshman or JV I wouldn’t be as experienced,” Carter said.

For Gaines the situation was much different.

She says that being on varsity didn’t necessarily make her feel experienced, but it did benefit her in other ways.

“I feel like being on varsity has kept me going on the right track,” Gaines said.

Gaines said that not only does being at the varsity level keep her on track, but besides being an outside hitter it has also made her an “all-around” player, someone who is able to play every position.

Unlike Gaines and Carter, Stewart found herself going out for the team because since middle school the sport has always been a passion of hers.

“I didn’t think I would make the team, let alone varsity team,” Stewart said. “But, when he called my name I felt so happy.”

Stewart also says that being on the varsity team has taught her a lot about what having a strong bond really means.

She went on to say that having a stronger bond within the team is what has made them better players, something she couldn’t see having if she started off on JV.

Although she didn’t try out her freshman year and waited until her sophomore year to play the sport, for senior Alexis Miranda volleyball is something that came easy to her.

“I didn’t know anyone on the team, and I think that’s what scared me the most,” Miranda said.

Since her sophomore year being put on varsity Miranda has been the setter, something she feels comfortable doing. Yet, Miranda caught onto the sport faster than most and says if she wanted to she could play other positions. “Playing at the varsity level is a privilege,” Miranda said. “But, playing on varsity when you expect to be at a different level is great feeling.”

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Learning to play ‘all around’