An Inside Look on the Costa Mesa Girls Varsity Volleyball Team

From left to right: Izzy Ortega-Davidson, Jamie Kibin, Vanessa Castillo, Avalei Seanoa, Gaby Barragan, Gracie Glass, Allison Trask, Aubrey Spallone, Sarahi Gama Gomez, Kaitlyn Yegarlener, Vanessa Ochoa, and Lucca Miller.

As an athlete, your sport is very important to you, but everyone has a different answer. Senior Kaitlyn Yagerlener and one of Mustang’s captains said, “Volleyball is important to me because of the friendships and special memories I’ve made along the way.” And senior Jamie Kibin said she isn’t a very social person, but playing volleyball gave her the confidence and got her out of her shell. 

Sophomore setter, Izzy Ortega-Davidson said that volleyball helps her forget about all her problems and gives her something to focus on. For junior Avalei Seanoa, she said, “Volleyball is important to me because it helps me build skills like communication, teamwork, and helps me become better mentally and physically.”

Throughout the varsity girls’ career, there were many games and tournaments that impacted themselves and their volleyball career. Many of the girls said their recent win against Calvary Chapel affected the team. And for context, the Varsity Girls volleyball team hasn't won against Calvary in 7 years

The girls said it impacted them because they all worked so hard and stepped out of their comfort zone to put in the effort to keep the ball in play. And even though they struggled, they pushed each other and pulled through, and left Calvary Chapel’s gym with a win.

The feeling of stepping on court is nerve-wracking, yet exciting. Senior Kaitlyn Yagerlener said that she feels nervous and excited all at the same time. Senior Vanessa Ochoa feels happy and hyped because she knows that she’s about to have fun and work hard. 

Freshman Gracie Glass’s mindset when she steps on court is that she’s determined to give it her all and come through with a win. For sophomore Allie Trask, stepping on court makes her heart jump out of her chest, but this feeling somehow comforts her. 

Senior Captain Vanessa Castillo says when she steps on court she feels like she has something to prove. She wants to show the crowd and her opponents her talents in the sport. Vanessa Castillo is the prime example of a player who is compassionate and dedicated every time she steps on court. And junior Aubrey Spallone, is another example of a player who is determined to win and will push themselves and their team no matter what.

From playing volleyball for either a short period of time or for years, volleyball has taught each individual player something different. For many of the seniors, they said that it taught them to be confident, let go of the negative things, to not dwell on the bad things, to forget every mistake and importantly to have fun. The rest of the underclassmen learned that anything is possible, as long as you can put your mind to it, anything can happen. Most of them kept saying that nothing in life, especially volleyball, is perfect and mistakes will happen.

Sophomore Lucca Miller said, “All that matters is how you come back and learn from the mistakes.” And senior Vanessa Castillo said, “[Volleyball] taught me how to never let fear halter your success.” Senior Sarahi Gama Gomez said that it's not all about winning or losing, but the effort and time you put into the sport.

For many athletes, there may be a special reason for why they play, but the majority of the varsity girls said that there’s no special reason. Nevertheless junior Avalei Seanoa said, “I started playing volleyball because my sisters used to play and growing up it was so cool to me, so I wanted to give it a try.” 

Senior Jamie Kibin’s reason is she wanted to try something new after playing softball for many years then sooner than later Jamie fell in love with volleyball and wants to continue playing. Sophomore Lucca Miller said the special reason is that she gets to play with her closest friends. 

In the end, volleyball to the Varsity Girls means something very special in hearts and we can tell just by their answers on a screen how compassionate they are towards this sport.