Two new players bring different characteristics to volleyball team

Two new players bring different characteristics to volleyball team

Eryn Lightsey, sophomore, prepares herself for the next rally. Meanwhile, her teammates on the bench cheer the team on.

Jessica Mangili

The volleyball team is down by one point with less than two minutes left in the game and spirits are low . Senior Michelle Lopez is clapping her hands and cheering her team on from the bench, trying to inspire them. Just at that moment sophomore Eryn Lightsey throws herself across the floor trying to save a spike from the other team. Although Lightsey wasn’t able to save the ball, her effort to help her team was encouraged by cheers from Lopez.  

Lopez moved here from Arizona at the end of second quarter last year. Along with having to leave most of her family behind, she had to adjust to a whole new environment, including cooler weather, a different school, and making new friends.

Although Lopez has played volleyball since sixth grade and it has been a tradition in her family, she did not actually play for Stagg until June of this year. Currently her position on the team is back row.

Understanding formations, having to know all the reads, and trying to know where she is  on the court in comparison to the other players are all things she has to now take under consideration during a game.

The volleyball team offered a way for her to make new friends while doing a hobby she loves.

“She made the team for her consistency of play and dedication,”  head coach Russell Nabayan said.

Her teammates have high respect for her, even nominating her to represent the volleyball organization as homecoming queen, which she politely declined.

Lopez loves to be outgoing and has a great sense of humor.

“I’m a ball of sunshine and I love making people happy,” Lopez said with a large smile.

She said that although she is the fun girl, at times it can get her in trouble during practices.   

Even though she isn’t a starting player, she brings a different type of role to the team. From the sidelines, she stands as supporter and friend to her fellow teammates.   

 “(She) has some skill, but she understands her role. She knows someday she will play. She is always supporting her team,” Nabayan said.

Lightsey recently transferred from Edison, where she now is member of the varsity team.

“I lived in (Stagg’s) district and Edison just wasn’t the place for me,” Lightsey said. Like Lopez, she found that the team at Stagg offered new friendships.This multi-talented sophomore plays both setter and outside hitter.

“Being one of three sophomores on the team, she will do well in the future,” Nabayan said.

Lightsey is a very outspoken person and competitive, a trait that an be be both positive or negative depending on the situation. She’s willing to do anything including putting her body in harm’s way to save a ball.

Lopez has developed a close bond with her teammates.“We’re pretty close. We’re like sisters,” Lopez said.