Athlete Feature: Sofia Mediana

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Athlete Feature: Sofia Mediana

Linda Qiu, Staff Writer

As with many school athletes, Girls Varsity Volleyball team member junior Sofia Mediana “decided to start playing volleyball in middle school just as a way to stay fit and hang out with friends.” But after playing, she realized how fun it was and was hooked. “Once I started paying thousands of dollars a year just to play, I knew I couldn’t just stop… The energy on the court and the chemistry between players are always my favorite things about the sport.” 

However, playing sports in high school has its downsides. For Sofia, “The most difficult part of playing volleyball is probably having to deal with bad calls or just bad referees in general. It doesn’t seem like something that important, but especially during a close game, one call can mean the difference between winning and losing. Playing well and communicating are things that we as players can control, but we can’t control a referee’s decision.” Not only that, but playing a sport can detract from studying and homework time. Sofia considers practices to be “pretty manageable most days, but games can make it really hard to find enough time to do homework.” She is taking three AP classes this year, so the workload is harder to manage than what she’s used to. “Sometimes we have to leave class early for away games, meaning we miss out on lessons or activities. We usually get back fairly late too, and on those days I have to stay up to get all my homework done. I’m an officer for multiple clubs as well, so meetings usually conflict with games and practice.” Sofia manages her busy schedule by prioritizing whenever there is conflict. “Communication with my peers, teachers, and coaches is key.”

This year is Sofia’s first year on the Varsity team. She’s looking forward to playing on a higher level of volleyball and challenging herself. “Last year, I was lucky enough to be pulled up to varsity for CIFs, but now I’m really excited to compete as an official member of the team. Plus, a lot more people come to watch our games compared to frosh-soph or JV, so I always look forward to showing others how fun volleyball is.”

This year, the Girls Varsity Volleyball team is brimming with potential. They have what it takes to be a winning team: “Our team chemistry is pretty good; it’s always fun to play and be on the court with each other, which helps a lot with bringing out the most of our abilities. Our coach is always pushing and encouraging us as well. I think we can improve on communicating on the court and just be more consistent in general. We have a lot of great players, so if we could play well 100% of the time, our team would be able to go really far in league and CIFs.”

Right now, the team is undefeated in League, but Burroughs and Crescenta Valley will soon pose a tough challenge. “I think as long as we keep working hard and stay focused and energized, we’ll be able to pull through and get a win.”

Photo courtesy of Emily Banuelos.