Sports & Recreation

Freshmen make an impact on varsity volleyball team

Five freshmen volleyball players are contributing in their first year of high school

It’s not uncommon to have freshmen on a varsity team. In fact, in almost every sport at San Benito High School there can be a freshman player on a team. This fall, Nicole Andrade, Lauren Sabbatini, Noel Chavarria, Kieley Hoskins and Annie Breger all made the varsity volleyball team as freshmen.

Chavarria and Andrade started playing volleyball four years ago. Sabbatini said she has been playing volleyball since she was 9 because her friends started playing on a club team and she thought “Why not?”

Andrade explains that at an early age she and her brothers went to the beach to play volleyball and that is what got her interested playing.

Hoskins, Andrade and Sabbatini have known each other since kindergarten and met Chavarria and Breger in their Crush Volleyball Club team when they were in sixth grade.

“The girls came off a very successful club season,” said head varsity volleyball coach Dean Askanas.

“Club volleyball has helped us five girls grow in skill and in experience,” said Sabbatini. Chavarria said she loves playing volleyball especially “whenever I get a good dig.” For Andrade, “Volleyball is more of an individual sport, and you always know when you do something good.” Sabbatini said, “What makes volleyball interesting for me is that it’s really fun to play with people my age.”

The five girls are excited to be on the team and are all planning to play the next three years of high school together.

“They are already very competitive at the varsity level and will only get stronger as time goes on,” said Askanas “I'm hoping these five can lead us to multiple league titles and eventually another CCS title.”

Andrade says, “In the next three years I’m looking forward to winning CCS with my other freshman players,” Sabbatini agreed, saying she’s looking forward for their whole 14 Crush Volleyball team to be on the varsity team. Chavarria said she is looking forward to being a better volleyball player as she gets older, including being a “key player” on the team.

As volleyball season is hitting its peak, the Balers have a record of 12-14 overall with matches remaining against Notre Dame, Seaside, Christopher, and Alvarez. Click here for the team's schedule.

Saul Martinez