By Georgie Lawson, Photo by Kathryn Stevens and McKenna Gaughan
Over the years, Canyon Crest Academy has been rapidly reversing its reputation as a school deprived of all athletic talent. Today, CCA sport teams pose a threat to opponents across the board. From Tennis to Track, Canyon Crest teams are carving a name for themselves amidst all the schools that claim to have top standings when it comes to athletics. One of the sports that has been rising in ranks year after year is girls volleyball, coached by Rachel Morris, who played at University of Oregon for two years as a setter, and Ariel Haas, who was a devoted high school player himself.
Last season the girls volleyball team went to CIF semi-finals but lost against La Costa Canyon. However, despite La Costa Canyon’s reputation as a top sports school, CCA did beat them in a tournament before semi-finals. It was a tough match and with LCC’s “noise boys” and other Torrey Pines and Cathedral Catholic fans left around the court from the prior game, so it was understandable that it was difficult for the Ravens to focus and exercise their full potential on the court. But regardless of last season’s setbacks, the team was proud to make it so far and has even higher expectations for this season.
This season the team hopes to continue onto CIF semi-finals like last year and win, advancing into the finals and hopefully becoming CIF champions. “As a team we hope to gain physical and mental strength and continue as a family to win CIF finals this year,” Dani Lampitt, a coaching assistant for the team, states. However, as much as the team loves winning games and showing off their talents on the scoreboard, they also have other goals in mind. Overall, these talented Ravens want to learn to work together and not only improve individually, but also progress as a team in their techniques and dynamic.
The team has been anything but lazy in achieving these crucial goals. A typical week means practicing Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for two hours and fifteen minutes, in addition to games on Tuesdays and Thursdays that all together amount to around sixteen hours a week. The players are hard-working and determined, recognizing that the more work they put in, the better results they’ll get.
This hard work led past players to attend great colleges where they still play, such as Northeastern, Westmont, and Azusa Pacific. Players on the current team are now being recruited by prestigious schools such as Brown, Stanford, and Dartmouth.
The players characterize the team this year as one with much better connectivity than last year, even though they lost some strong players at last season’s end. The team has become like a family due to the extensive hours they work to improve their skills, always there to encourage and support each other.
Past experiences prove that whatever Ravens set their mind to, they can achieve, so with the hard work these players are putting into their training, this could likely be their best season yet, maybe even ending with the addition of a new banner to the gym.