8th Grade Volleyball

“Everybody do the mustang rumble, everybody…rumble!” This cheer could be heard echoing off the gym walls during the 8th grade volleyball season. Both the A and B teams secured a second place district win this year. Coach Nielsen, the coach of the 8th grade volleyball team, really enjoyed the season. “This year’s team was a lot of fun! They were willing to learn new things, be positive towards each other, and they worked very well together. They did a great job and didn’t give up.”

8th grade volleyball players (left to right) Apoorva C., Krishna V., Ally K., Miranda B., Mayu G., and Kaitlin O. were taught the value of team by Coach Nielson this season. Photo by Sanika

8th grade volleyball players (left to right) Apoorva C., Krishna V., Ally K., Miranda B., Mayu G., and Kaitlin O. were taught the value of team by Coach Nielson this season. Photo by Sanika

The players also improved greatly throughout the season. According to Nielsen, they improved with defense, serving, and hitting. “For defense, the girls were a little hesitant at the beginning of the season, but after a few games, they were more conscious of where they were supposed to be on the court and hustled after every ball. They started to get the concept: every ball counts. Blocking improved big time too. With serving, everyone became more consistent.” Nielsen said the most important things players should remember are team unity and bonding. “At this age, I don’t know how they really feel about a win or loss, but they do care about the fun bus rides home, the cheering at all the games, the lock in, the end of the season gatherings, the ‘fun’ practice drills I always liked to throw in every now and then. Those are the important things. Making friends and creating memories.” Nielsen loves playing and coaching this sport. “I love the intensity of volleyball. It really is a fun game to watch and play. I love seeing the girls execute a perfect bump, set, and spike. It is so amazing.”

8th grader Sam P. gets ready to serve the volleyball. Photo by Sanika

8th grader Sam P. gets ready to serve the volleyball. Photo by Sanika

Like Nielsen, 8th graders Sam P., Lauren G., Miranda B., and Krishna V. have always loved volleyball. All of them were on the team this year. Lauren said, “I tried out because I love to play in team sports. It’s a really fun experience.”

Sam agreed. “It’s so much fun, and I love playing with my friends.”

Krishna and Miranda have both been playing since fourth grade. However, they both admitted that they get nervous before games. Krishna remarked, “I would say I definitely say I get most nervous when I’m serve-receiving (passing) because you really don’t know where the ball is going to go.”

Miranda, on the other hand, gets the most nervous when she is serving. “I get really nervous before game mainly because I usually have to serve the first ball which means everyone is looking at me. But I tell myself it is just a volleyball game and everyone makes mistakes, so that usually helps my nervousness!”

All four players agreed that their favorite part of the season was the hard games. Lauren commented, “It was definitely a memorable moment when we beat Walsh during the tournament. It was a great accomplishment.”

8th graders Ally K., Krishna V., and Caroline G. get in place to receive a serve. Photo by Sanika

8th graders Ally K., Krishna V., and Caroline G. get in place to receive a serve. Photo by Sanika

When asked what the most important thing to remember is when playing a sport, the girls gave great input. Krishna said, “I think the most important thing is encouraging your other team members and being a good sport. It’s the best feeling when someone tells me good job, so I think that once you feel good, you will automatically play better. I think another really important thing is to have discipline. The best teams to me are the most disciplined teams. We are in middle school so of course there are always teams that are really rude on the court, and I hate that so much. Stay positive, and you will go far.”

Sam’s advice is to keep an open mind. “Know that if you mess up, you can always do better.”

Miranda expressed, “Never give up on what you set to accomplish. Even when you mess up you shouldn’t give up on your dreams or goals no matter what people say or tell you.”

Our 8th grade Lady Mustangs never gave up all season. Their hard work and victories allowed them to place in district and it gave not just them, but Canyon Vista, something to be proud of.