Downey High School Girls Volleyball Returns

Kailani Fletcher, Writer

Distance learning undoubtedly left an indelible mark on every student at Downey High School, but a unique experience belongs to student-athletes. The protocols of first semester lead many fall sport teams to face unconventional seasons, and some indoor sports–like girls volleyball–did not get to participate in anything that resembled a season. The lack of playing time had its negative effects, but the Downey High School Girls Volleyball program was eager and prepared to put in the work for this year’s season. “We did a lot of summer work that everyone was super committed to. That obviously helped a lot,” Varsity Captain Natalie Lois, 12, revealed. “I think that we all have the same mentality of wanting to win which helps us push ourselves in practice.” 


Although a lot of work was put in on the team’s behalf, building chemistry after a year apart was not an easy challenge to overcome. Through the struggles of a bumpy–but overall successful preseason–the girls made sure to prioritize their relationships as teammates. “The bond is super important when it comes to trusting each other on the court,” Senior Captain Antoinette Marquez-Zepeda explained. “It’s a team sport. Six on the court, it’s not one person. Three touches have to happen, and you can’t do that all on your own, so being able to build that bond and working out together has helped us learn about each other.” 


Since trust is such an integral part of the game, the Varsity Girls Volleyball team plans to continue to strengthen their bond and their skills throughout the official season that began on September 14, 2021 with a match against Gahr High School. Being able to officially play in front of a crowd is something that the team was looking forward to. “It’s a weird feeling, but I’m glad we get to come back for our senior year because it’s our last year,” Fiorella Garcia, 12, expressed. “When people come and watch us play it gives us energy and it picks us up.” 


The combination of the Lady Vikings’ hard work, their team bond, and the support from the crowd led them to their first victory of conference competition. Although the team had to push back against Gahr after losing their first set, the final score was 3 to 1 in Downey’s favor. After all of their preparation, Downey High School’s Varsity Girls Volleyball team is primed to compete for first place in the San Gabriel Valley League and to continue the fight on towards CIF.