Girls volleyball needs to overcome intimidation

Posted on 14. Sep, 2017 by in girls volleyball, LCA News

sports-program-santa-monica-christian-high-schoolBy Rudee Becerra and Magalea Chiesa

After a year of reconstruction, LCA’s volleyball team has lost its first four matches against some of the league’s best teams but is building towards some wins.

“Honestly, we have not been communicating and our ball control hasn’t been the best,” said Alexis Lyons, our junior outside hitter. “Even though we lost we all showed good sportsmanship.”

Intimidation has been a factor. The voices in our heads – the feared ridicule of the boys at school – has made the players not give their best. The teasing between the sexes has grown a bit vicious. All our games are away, and the local team usually has a large crowd of support.

In our first match against Westmark School in Encino, our closest set was the third, 21-25.

girls-volleyball-christian-school-santa-monicaThis has emerged as a pattern, our third set is our best. By then our adrenaline gets going. We get a pep talk from coach. We iron out the kinks in our system. We start to actually compete. We get pumped and start to block out the hostile crowd.

“Since we are a small team, I think we felt discouraged when we face bigger and better teams,” said Ymani Iyamah, a junior and star of the team. “But as the game progresses, we gain more confidence and play with each other in a better way.”

We need to find the motivation from the first set. We need to set our hopes high for our Santa Monica-based Christian high school.

“We lost on Tuesday, but I could not have been any prouder as a coach because we made the other team work hard to beat us,” said Coach Delores Hively. “We put up a heck of a fight and looked like we were having fun doing it.”

Tuesday will be a high challenge against a dominant team, Newbury Park High School out near Thousand Oaks.

We hope to find our stride eventually and start notching wins.

Lighthouse Christian Academy‘s once-heralded girl’s volleyball used to make strong playoff runs, but a dip in enrollment and lack of club players brought down the program and it dropped off the map completely in 2015.

Its resurrection last year under Coach Hively brought hope and life as we showed unexpected strength in scrimmages, winning some upsets.

Lighthouse-Christian-Academy-santa-monica“Fear and self-doubt will always hold you back,” Coach Hively said. “If you tell yourself you can, you will. If you tell yourself you can’t, you will not.”

It’s just as easy to criticize a losing team as it is to drop into a discouraging downward spiral. If we are pull out of season-starting slump, we will probably need the support of each other, our school and, above all, something extra that maybe only God can give us.

“I work hard to inspire them every day, and they are also trying to inspire one another and do a great job helping one another learn,” Coach Hively said.

Rudee Becerra and Magalea Chiesa are sophomores on the volleyball team.

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