Making a statement

Girls’ volleyball dominating league


At the away game versus Monterey, captain Yesenia Tjierina is seen attacking the ball with another kill.

Coming off of last year’s 22-10 campaign, the girls’ volleyball team was looking to build on their success. So far they have because of the teamwork and relationships that the girls have built. “The camaraderie this year has been better than the last two years,” said Head Coach Jose Ramos.

Having a strong core of returning players has helped, especially with seniors America Mendez, Karissa Godoy, Maria Ochoa, Miriam Ochoa, Nayeli Navarro, Samantha Montelongo, Yesenia Tijerina, and juniors Viviana Reyes and Alyssa Valasquez. 

Complementing the returners are a talented group of underclassmen – Alondra Sanchez, Deziree Villegas, Maria Ramirez, Maria Ruiz, and Yesenia Soria. The ultimate goal this year is to be league champions and get a good run out at CCS, according to Ramos. 

Ramos has stressed his team plays as aggressive, smart, and unflappable. “Win the games we’re supposed to win and win them the right way,” said Ramos, “Our way.” 

The girls have managed to impose their will on their opponents so far. They went 3-2 in the preseason, losing only to Salinas and Notre Dame. “It doesn’t matter the team we’re playing we must show every team our fashion with no fear and every intend of winning” stated Ramos. Yesenia Soria even added, “It was one of the first games we’ve all played together, it was a little tough getting used to playing around each other. To add to that, we were really quiet throughout the games so that would make us “shut down” which caused the other girls to shut down but from those games, we’ve grown to push ourselves and actually want to win since we were close to winning those games, but didn’t push through.”

The only sort of weakness or sign of difficulty what he has seen from his team so far was their mental state. Playing at a different school can have its difficulties. Overcoming the crowd and staying focused on the game was difficult since there are times where the crowd can get out of hand. Developing mental toughness is what these girls learned to do. “I always tell my girls to focus on the team in front of you everything else doesn’t matter.” “I blame myself a lot but he motivates you by playing it off with jokes and just telling us to just get the ball in and then you could redeem yourself,” said Maria Ochoa (libero) when asked how Ramos has helped her mental state. 

From their modest start, the team went on a tear to start league play 10-0. Monterey has been the only team that’s come close to potentially standing in their way of winning the league, with both contests ending in 3-2 victories. 

Unlike their losses to Salinas and Notre Dame in the preseason, the girls have built their bond and learned to communicate with one another. Miriam Ochoa mentioned that their bond was like a sisterhood. While Yesenia Soria mentioned that, “Now all the girls can communicate with each other since we’re all comfortable playing with each other, so when we play against Monterey, we all know how much the game means to us so we push till the last point. Helping each other out along the way.”

Contributing players like Samantha Montelongo, Yesenia Tijerina, and Maria Ochoa have been the ones that have shown greater strengths according to Ramos. “Yesenia knows how to make a play aggressive, she plays smart and has the endurance to play the whole game at a high level. She’s just an overall great athlete. Maria Ochoa is also another reliable player. She has no idea how good she is in back row. Sam is one of my most improved players in terms of consistency and aggressiveness.”  A strong player like Viviana Reyes who is consistent at every game injured herself during practice. “After my injury our strongest hitter, Samantha, has to take a big step and play for my position. But so far they are doing really good. I am really proud of my team” stated Reyes. The sacrifices that all the girls have given is what it takes to be great. “You got to do things to prepare you to be a champion” quoted Ramos. “To see the progress these girls have made and starting a varsity career as a team who couldn’t get a win to sticking to it and working hard just to see the outcomes of all the hard work now on a run.”