Varsity Volleyball welcomes freshman to team

Freshmen+Mia+Wilmot%2C+Kyra+Johannason%2C+Kait+Biassou%2C+Karson+Nakagawa%2C+and+Grace+Taylor+%28not+pictured%29+are+newcomers+to+the+varsity+volleyball+team+this+year.+
Freshmen Mia Wilmot, Kyra Johannason, Kait Biassou, Karson Nakagawa, and Grace Taylor (not pictured) are newcomers to the varsity volleyball team this year.

Freshmen Mia Wilmot, Kyra Johannason, Kait Biassou, Karson Nakagawa, and Grace Taylor (not pictured) are newcomers to the varsity volleyball team this year.

Meghan Stettler

Meghan Stettler

Freshmen Mia Wilmot, Kyra Johannason, Kait Biassou, Karson Nakagawa, and Grace Taylor (not pictured) are newcomers to the varsity volleyball team this year.

Meghan Stettler, In Depth Editor

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Demanding excellence over seniority, varsity volleyball welcomed five freshmen to the team this year.

These girls–Grace Taylor, Kyra Johannason, Mia Wilmot, Kait Biassou, and Karson Nakagawa–are all experienced players, devoting between six and two years to the sport, and clock time on club and school teams. Regardless of the age gap, older team members welcome and support the younger players, often helping them recover from mistakes and improve form.

“We work really well together,” Biassou said. “It’s like another family to me. I’ve hardly known them, and we’re already close.”

While they are not in consensus about how much of a change varsity is from their past experience, the freshmen are in agreement about their enthusiasm for the experience of playing varsity, the amount of work required, and the growth they’ve undergone because of it.

“It’s honestly amazing,” Taylor said. “The girls are so nice and the best teammates. I worked so hard toward this this summer and the hard work has definitely paid off. And having Kuna [Nakagawa] as a coach is so difficult, but he has helped me improve so much and made me into a better player.”

Taylor is a student at AACT in the medical academy, and has interests in being an EMT. Others, like Wilmot, are two-sport athletes, or have interests in pursuing volley ball into adulthood, such as Johannason. The teammates experience difficulty in matching both academic and athletic standards, but are confident in their abilities.

“I think as a group we are defiantly (sic) surpassing expectations,” Wilmot said. “The key is having good time management and organization. Any extra time I have I’m always studying because school comes first and sports take up three-quarters of my time.”

Karson Nakagawa, the daughter of Kuna Nakagawa, finds that there is a high pressure to perform, not only due to her age and that of her peers, but also due to the involvement of her family in volleyball.

“The speed and intensity of the game are a lot harder,” Karson said. “It’s harder working– just knowing that I don’t want to let him [Kuna] down.”

In spite of pressures faced and difficulties posed by balancing academics, athletics, and social lives, the freshmen of varsity volleyball are excited to be a part of the team, and look forward to further involvement.

“This team of varsity girls has great character, and they are just amazing girls all around,” Wilmot said. “I’m so grateful to be able to play with them.”

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