Although the Ukiah High Varsity team has faced tough times in the past, this season they are thriving and have worked so hard to become the 2023 NBL Redwood League Champions. We spoke to first-year Varsity Coach Katie Williams about the team’s success this season.
Yesterday, October 26, 2023, our Wildcats faced the Las Lomas Knights in the Division II volleyball championships and despite the good fight were bested. But, their wins locally cannot be overstated.
Coach Williams told us that her athletes this year “fierce and intentional.” She describes how well they are at “utilizing tips, roll shots, and other placement shots as well as serving tough.”
Coach Williams would like to highlight the Iversen twins, Alivia and Allie, who are juniors at UHS. Allie leads the team with kills, Alivia and teammate Ava Rinehart lead in aces.
Further acknowledging other team leaders such as Rylee Capri who leads in blocks. Coach Williams says every athlete plays a huge part in making the team “so special and well-rounded.”
The Varsity Volleyball players claim to be inspired by various people such as their sisters, past players, and coaches, and their love for their team. These young women are dedicated athletes playing the sport for at least four years and some have been at it more than 8 years!
11th grader Skyler Taglio told us she has been playing for six years and loved the feeling of beating American Canyon this season. She is not sure if she will pursue volleyball in the future mainly because “girls are so good now it’s hard to get noticed by even small schools.”
The only freshman on the team, Lailani Wallin is aspiring to be recruited to play for Western Washington University or Sonoma State University.
Multiple varsity team members told us about the amazing opportunity to go and observe Stanford University’s volleyball team battle it out with a team from Minnesota. While this was a great experience for them, they also got to see what it would be like to play professionally.
Every player is looking forward to growing together and advancing in their skills. Some of the challenges they have faced and overcome this season have been the anxiety of moving up to the Varsity team and balancing school with their academics.
As the season comes to a close, Sydney Kubin, a senior who has been playing at UHS all four years, says that she is sad thinking about saying goodbye after becoming a “tight-knit” team.