When she arrived at varsity girls volleyball tryouts prior to this season, Trinity Classical Academy freshman Emma Carver was admittedly nervous. But the anxiety didn’t last long.
“It seemed kind of intense rather than trying out for junior high volleyball, but all the coaches were really nice and they made me feel really welcome so it eased my nerves a lot,” Carver said.
The Knights’ players and coaches are in agreeance that the family-like atmosphere that Carver experienced at tryouts is what draws students to play for the team. It’s led to unprecedented success and growth in the program.
“It’s definitely gotten bigger,” said senior setter Nicole Amoroso. “We have more coaches and different coaches. The obvious things you can see.”
Aside from the obvious, Trinity volleyball has remained largely the same when it comes to intangibles.
“It hasn’t changed much. Our values have always been reward hard workers, play as a team, play together, play for each other and for the lord,” Amoroso added. “In that sense, it hasn’t changed.”
This season, Trinity had enough players to add a freshman team to complement its JV and varsity squads. All three levels, in addition to the youth teams, receive instruction from the same coaches or older players in the program.
The consistency in coaching helps the staff identify needs for the higher levels and how those needs can be filled. It also makes for easier transitions from one team to the next.
“They’re getting the same verbiage and training that our high schoolers are getting from us,” said coach Rebecca Peluffo. “So just growing up in the program I think has its benefits as well, just because they’re used to us, they’re used to the way we run things, they’re familiar with drills and it helps us because we get to create deeper relationships with them.”
This season, the Knights won the Heritage League title, dropping only one league match to crosstown rival Santa Clarita Christian School. Tonight, they begin the CIF-Southern Section playoffs by hosting Arroyo at 4 p.m.
“We’ve been focusing on getting mentally prepared, competitiveness,” Amoroso said. “We worked a lot on defense today. At practice yesterday we focused on the small things that could make a difference. It was a slow process but it was good.”
Everyone from Amoroso, a third-year varsity player, to Carver, who is in her first year of varsity, is eager for the game and their team’s family atmosphere gives them a little extra confidence.
“You just have to prepare for anything because any team can be different each day,” Carver said, “so you have to prepare like you’re playing the best team in the world each time you step out on that court.”