This week, because of her extended and thoughtful response, Ya Dig? brings to you Kayla Michelle Akemi Yoshida (say that three times fast) who plays back row for Webb High School out in Claremont.
Here’s the chat we had via Facebook.
RAFU: How’s your team doing?
KMAY: As a team, we are growing stronger and more in sync. Our skills have definitely grown since the beginning of the year and we are learning to hone these skills on the court. As a relatively new and young team, we are struggling to get a winning record. It is very frustrating but it also makes us stronger. Our team’s main struggle is closing each game with an aggressive attack. A main problem is that we lose confidence at the last 7-10 points and usually make more errors; this resulting in a painful loss. We are still working on our energy on the court and our aggressiveness to get the ball. Overall, I feel we have improved greatly. Personally, I have become a better team player by learning the ways my teammates play on the court. My digging and willingness to get on the floor for the ball has become improved. All the credit goes to our coach, Jack Coberly!
RAFU: What is it that you enjoy most about volleyball?
KMAY: Volleyball is a total team sport. Each player must work together in order to have a satisfying outcome. The first pass/dig must be clean and to the setter. The setter must get the ball high enough and in the right place in order for the hitter to be able to time the ball right and get a quick snap for the kill. The aspect I love the most about volleyball is the team spirit. The fact everyone has to be communicating with each other at all times makes a team strong. I love my team, and without them, I don’t think it would be as enjoyable to play the sport… although I do enjoy when I improve on any part of my play.
RAFU: What got you started in volleyball?
KMAY: I started to play volleyball in the 7th grade, so going on 5 years of playing volleyball now. I never played club, but a couple of my friends in junior high did and I guess you could say I learned from them. From Kindergarten all the way through to 8th grade, I attended Foothill Country Day School in Claremont. At Foothill it was mandatory for every girl to play on the volleyball team in 7th and 8th grade, being there only 10 girls in each class. I never thought that I would play in high school, but in 8th grade I seemed to excel in the sport. My 8th grade team in 2007 won first place in the Los Osos Tournament where I played as setter. It was a tough win and it definitely still stands as the most satisfying set of volleyball games I’ve ever played. This excitement for volleyball carried into my freshman year where I tried out and made the Junior Varsity Team. Now, at Vivian Webb School in Claremont, as a junior of the class of 2011, I play back row and occasionally libero.
RAFU: What what do you want to study and where?
KMAY: For college, I am most likely wanting to stay in California (USC, UCLA, UCSD, Berkley, UCSB, and The Claremont Colleges). The weather and lifestyle fits me well. Although, I am still keeping my options open for the east coast and maybe even overseas, something new and exciting definitely. I want to major in some kind of medical program. I love sciences and I sometimes enjoy math, although it isn’t my strong suit this year. Biology is my favorite type of science; the human body is an incredible entanglement of systems. Recently, I’ve been thinking about my life and what I want to do with it. But as for my job, I want to enjoy it. Being a doctor is what I’ve been studying for and planning to do, but now I’m thinking of taking a risk and pursuing a more invigorating profession. At this point, everything is still up in the air, but it will all hopefully fall in place very soon!
RAFU: Any other info?
KMAY: Last Year Webb Varsity Volleyball made it very far in CIF. This year we have been trying to cope with the loss of over half of the team graduating last year. A total of three returning varsity players are now on the team.
For those interested in contributing to Ya Dig? contact Jordan via e-mail at [email protected] or call (213) 629-2231 ext. 148.