Varsity volleyball unites for new season

William Wick, Staff Writer

The varsity volleyball team, having made it to state for the first time last year, hopes to further improve its performance through team-bonding. Seven seniors and three sophomores returned to play together this season, with two new sophomores, Meliah Stewart and Hannah Wagenblast, joining them.
“We’re all working on being really supportive. That’s one of our goals this year: to be more supportive and more as a team, as one unit,” senior varsity captain Kassy Mendoza said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re on the court or off the court. You’re in the game, you’re ready to play, and you’re engaged.”
After high school season last year, seniors Mendoza, Hayley Ho, Emily Skinner, Carlie Wick, and Kayla Wiscomb built their skills together on Absolute Zero, a club volleyball team.
“We got used to playing with each other during the off-season,” Ho said.
Similarly, sophomores Alena Rozewski and Presley Sweeney played together on Seattle Juniors, another club team.
“We hang out a lot outside of practices and games. We do a lot of team bonding, so dinners, lunches, and things like that before games,” Rozewski said. “We try to do things together to become closer so that we have a better outcome on the court.”
The team’s records 5-7 this season, winning games against Juanita, Sammamish, Renton, and West Seattle.
Varsity volleyball is not the only team to experience changes. Social studies teacher Peter Kurtz surprised C-Team volleyball by volunteering to be their coach. Despite his limited experience, he has worked tirelessly to help players achieve their goals.
“My passion is, of course, history; however, I’m surprised to find that coaching is really just like teaching,” Kurtz said. “Instead of teaching the content of history you’re teaching characteristics of character build, life, and how to focus. It’s a different type of focus; it’s a different content.”
Kurtz has been at Liberty for three years. He currently teaches AP World History and general world history, but now wishes to interact with students in a different setting.
“I became a volleyball coach to learn to be an athletic coach, to have those experiences, to be part of a team, and to help students achieve their goals,” Kurtz said. “I also wanted to be a part of students’ lives outside of the classroom. I find that a lot of times, students who are part of extracurricular activities do better in school and in life. And I want to promote that. It’s not just about academics; it’s also about athletics.”