The Federalist

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The Federalist

The Federalist

The end of an era: Season Finale of Girls’ Volleyball

Maya DeAngelis, Laila Alabresh, Luna Rodriguez, Apriell Lawton,  Precious Cox, Angelly Castillos, Saniah Epps-Addison, Calista Thompson, Alyzza Robles, Audrey Benjamin, Athena Alverado, Olivia Jacquez, London Shoji, and Micaela Becerra
Maya DeAngelis, Laila Alabresh, Luna Rodriguez, Apriell Lawton,  Precious Cox, Angelly Castillos, Saniah Epps-Addison, Calista Thompson, Alyzza Robles, Audrey Benjamin, Athena Alverado, Olivia Jacquez, London Shoji, and Micaela Becerra

On Thursday, our Hamilton Girls Varsity Volleyball team participated in the CIF playoffs against Verdugo High School. With a total of 4 sets in the game, unfortunately, our lady Yankees team fell short losing 4-1. Hamilton did have a disadvantage due to the fact that Verdugo had a record of 18-3.

Despite the disappointing loss at playoffs, the girls’ volleyball team managed to get an outstanding record of 11-10 with the incredible coaching of Coach Joobin Kim, Coach Lee Moon, and Mr. Westfall. This game also gave some people an emotional disappointment as we said farewell to our incredible seniors who took their last stands on the court; Apriell Lawton (OPO), Laila Alarbesh (OPO), Precious Cox (Middle Blocker) and Luna Rodriguez (Middle Blocker).

“I had so much fun during Thursday’s game and I thought the season went by pretty fast. I think we could’ve performed much better but I am very proud of the team. My favorite moments are during the game when we would be excited for each other, or celebrating a great play with my teammates on the court. Volleyball to me is teamwork, and working together as a team on and off the court,” said Precious as she mentioned her input on the game and her favorite moments throughout the season and with the team. 

The game started out rough with the Yankees down 5-10 in the first couple of minutes. But as the game progressed, Senior Precious Cox gave the confidence the team needed. She gave an outstanding performance. During the game, Angie Castillos (Setter), made incredible sets to Precious which gave her the opportunity to score 5+ easy points for the team along with blocking which is not easy to do.

With a total of 3 blocks, both helped place the team a few points away from becoming tied. Unfortunately, Hami wasn’t able to complete the set. They ended up losing the set 18-25 but with the confidence Precious gave midway through the first set, Hami was able to bring that confidence and defeat Verdugo in the second set. 

During the second set, Hami had a small lead of 5-4 as Precious’s block to get ahead led the way for the rest of the girls. Captain Maya DeAngelis received a set from Angie Castillos and made an amazing hit tying the set 7-7. “I think we played very well! Most of the players on the varsity team have only been playing for a little over a year so we’ve all made a lot of progress and we’re only going to get better from here,” said Maya has been playing volleyball for over a year now and is one of the most determined people on the court. 

She doesn’t just play for herself but for the team. As a captain, volleyball to her means dedicating a big portion of time and effort but never losing passion and wanting to constantly improve your skill.

Throughout the second set, Laila Alarbesh made incredible hits due to the help of the back row with passing. She mentions, “No matter if I’m tired or injured I could play all day long, and it truly is the thing that makes me happiest.” The back row players included Maya DeAngelis, Calista Thompson, and London Shoji.

Towards the middle of the set, a long rally went on and people in the audience were holding their breaths as to who was going to get the point. When a deflection was made and everyone thought Hamilton lost the point, London Shoji managed to save the point by making an incredible pass to Maya DeAngelis to win the point. Hamilton led the entire set from a lead of 12-8 to 20-15 with Precious’s spikes and blocks, Angie Castillios nice setter dumps, and around the end, the team managed to nearly close it off 24-23 with one point left which was closed off by Maya’s serve to win the second set. The game tied 1-1.

“My favorite moment from the game were my middle sets, in which Precious would kill the ball and we would all celebrate.” Angie gives her input on her favorite moments in the game. Even though it was stressful and the pressure was huge, she really loved this season and loved being with the team and making memories with them.


There were a lot of turns of events but unfortunately, Verdugo ended up coming out on top and won 3-1. Even though our Lady Yankees didn’t get the outcome they all wanted, they closed the season off together as a team.

Our seniors had an emotional day as it was their last time on the court with their fellow teammates. Apriell Lawton says, “I did play a lot better than I did my first year playing, I felt more confident and capable of playing on the court. It came to me at ease and was such a joy to play with my team. Even though it was stressful and hard, after a while I was able to devote myself and my body to the full game. My team and I went through a lot during this season and it being my last season it was a hard thing to adapt to in terms of situations off the court. The bus drive back from the last game at UNI felt so rewarding and special. It was the last time we would ever be on the bus together, something I’d never forget.”

This not only expresses Apriells feelings towards the season but towards all the seniors and the other players on the team. This will definitely be a big change for next year’s volleyball since they will be missing 4 of their amazing seniors who most likely will move on and do amazing things.

Hamilton really appreciates all the effort the girls’ volleyball team has put into this season to make it to CIF. Good luck next season. We all can’t wait to see what the new varsity team has to bring!

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  • K

    Khan WatsonMar 14, 2024 at 8:16 am

    Big thanks to the team for having an amazing season. Thank you to Coach Westfall for stepping in and up for the team. Wishing all of you the best.

  • K

    Khan WatsonMar 14, 2024 at 8:13 am

    It’s horrible that the two coaches quit on the team right before playoff and leaving the girls to miss out on a tournament that they fundraised for. As coaches you are to set a good example of following through and not leaving your team when they need you most because you failed during the season to display equity amongst your players. Shame on you Moon and Kim!