Written by Elizabeth Martinez
This summer, the CCLA Girls’ Volleyball team found itself in search of a new coach as former Coach Bryan suddenly vacated his position in order to continue his college education in San Francisco. All summer long there seemed to be no luck for the girls and no coach was found. Athletic Administrator Mr. Elmore took the initiative to send an email out to all the teachers at CCLA , hoping someone would be able to step up and coach this talented, senior- laden team.
Suddenly, it was the week before the Girls’ first season game and- crickets- silence, when a 27 year math teacher from Technology Preparatory Academy (TPA) got back to Elmore and was open to coaching our volleyball team on top of everything else he had to do, which is very appreciated by the volleyball girls. Now we could play.
It is now the Fall 2018 Girls’ Volleyball season! I am Lizz an outside hitter on the Girls’ Varsity team. My team experienced a (too) short practice session over summer due to problems with paperwork in order to have access to the gym. Our season (my last, as a senior) was off to a disappointing start because the other schools in East Valley League were practicing and playing in tournaments around Los Angeles while we were waiting to get our paperwork approved, simply to start practice. Many of us were confused, wondering if there was even going to be a team this year, but a week before school started we were approved to go into gym.
Practice finally started, and because of our unusual circumstances, the close, sisterhood bond my teammates and I created was a bond we’ve never had the past three seasons that I’ve played for CCLA. Our senior setter Eileen Rodriguez states, “ All of the seniors have been together for 2-3 years from Frosh/Soph to JV- from JV to Varsity and although we don’t talk to each other off of the court, when we are on the court we do communicate with one another.”
The first practices took us a while to build back into the team we once were. At first it seemed as if we were facing another hurdle: it seemed as if we forgot how to get along. There was so much miscommunication with one another, it basically felt like everyone was slowly giving up on the sport, but after we spent quality time with each other and started practicing our positions and strategies, we were ready for our first season game- just two days away.
The 2018 season finally commenced: the first game was a little rough for us because we didn’t have our rotations down, but we fixed this in practice, and by our second game against rival Arleta High School- we won! My teammates and I created history by beating Arleta for the very first time! We now hold a league record of 5-5.