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Seniors drive volleyball team to success

Team propelled to a 10-4 overall record and 7-1 in district play

Senior+Ruby+Fera+rises+above+the+net+to+drive+in+another+kill.+Fera+has+had+eight+games+with+20+or+more+kills.
Senior Ruby Fera rises above the net to drive in another kill. Fera has had eight games with 20 or more kills.

Senior Ruby Fera rises above the net to drive in another kill. Fera has had eight games with 20 or more kills.

Julian Whitworth

Julian Whitworth

Senior Ruby Fera rises above the net to drive in another kill. Fera has had eight games with 20 or more kills.

Henry Jowaisas, Staff Reporter

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The volleyball team has been propelled to a 10-4 overall record and 7-1 in district play with the help of the team’s seniors, committed underclassmen and coach Tami Reese.

With seven of fifteen players on the team’s roster being seniors, and a veteran coach who has spent over 20 years with the program, the team is in the perfect position to make a long run in the playoffs.

In nine of their matches, the team has only needed the minimum three sets to finish off their opponents, dominating in most of their games. On average, the team has scored 24 points in each of the first three sets of every game. As one of the most prolific scorers and a captain of the team, Ruby Fera has emerged as a leader. “We don’t have the tallest girls but we have a lot of heart and we just go after it,” Fera said. “We’re hoping to go to state, that’s our goal this year.”

Fera, who has been on varsity since her freshman year, has had eight games this season with 20 or more kills. Claire Burreson, the team’s setter, constantly assists many of Fera’s high flying kills. “Everything she does is 100 percent perfect,” Burreson said.

Famously, Fera has not been taken out of a game during this season or in her junior season. “She wants it just as much as I want it, to get to state,” Coach Reese said.

Burreson has also been instrumental to the team’s success. Starting at setter as a sophomore this year, she has had seven games with 30 or more assists, including a game where she totalled 62. “She’s only a sophomore but she still steps up to the plate,” Fera said. “She’s like the quarterback of the team.”

Raeanne Espinoza, a senior who plays middle blocker, has been a big part of this year’s leadership. “The captains push everyone really hard to be their best,” Espinoza said during a phone interview. “As seniors we make everyone feel involved and included.” Regrouping after two lackluster years, this is exactly what the team needs.

After a loss to Roosevelt in the middle of the season, the team has flipped a switch and are intent on stepping up to the level of their adversaries. With the playoffs in sight, the team knows they will be facing bigger and better opponents than anything they faced in the regular season.

Reese and her players are hopeful that when playoffs start on Tuesday, they will be able make a deep run. But, Reese says the volleyball team isn’t a lock for state just yet. “We have to win,” said Reese. “But can we hang with them? Sure.”

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Seniors drive volleyball team to success