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Transfer blocker reinforces volleyball team

&idAs a volleyball player for the past five years, junior Katelyn Miller, a transfer from Yosemite High School, is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys sports and camping. Although she was unfamiliar with the FC team, Miller continued to pursue her volleyball career.

After her brother [Tim, ’10] played football at FC, he encouraged his sister to enroll and play volleyball. Already having played at places such as Yosemite High School, Yosemite Volleyball Club and Coarsegold Elementary School, Miller used her experience to continue in the sport.

“Volleyball is my favorite sport,” Miller said. “I love the feeling of working as a team and hitting and spiking the ball because it releases my stress. It is a great feeling when I hit the ball so hard that the other team cannot get it.”

According to Miller, support from her family members has helped her over the years. Every time she wanted to give up because she made mistakes; her family was there to help and encourage her.

“My whole family plays sports,” Miller said. “Tim played for our school, so watching him really inspired me to try my best and never give up. He also got a scholarship to Fresno Pacific University, so I try to focus on school and volleyball at the same time. My parents are always there for me as well.”

Due to players leaving the school and switching spots on the team, Miller had to learn a new position.

“I played outside hitter ever since 6th grade,” Miller said. “But when Chantelle Brown [’13] left the team, I got switched to middle blocker. At first it was hard and awkward for me, but I really like my position now.”

In order to play volleyball, Miller had to overcome many obstacles along the way and was injured several times, she says.

“In December, I sprained my ankle when I was practicing,” Miller said. “I hit one of my teammates who was blocking and landed on my ankle. I was in pain, but after a couple of days I started practicing again.”

Miller is inspired not only by her family and teammates but also by her faith, she says. When faced with hardships and when volleyball was not going very well, she says she was led by God and found answers in prayer.

“I thank God for letting me come to this school and play volleyball on such an amazing team,” Miller said. “God has given me natural athletic abilities, so I thank God for that, too.”

Teammate Allison Camden, ’12, says Miller is a “fantastic player,” striving to return balls that come to the team.

“Katelyn is a wonderful addition to the team,” Camden said. “We lost our middle blocker, and Katelyn is a great replacement. She is aggressive even if we are not playing a game – at practices, as well. She makes other team members want to try harder.”

Sophomore Kristen Rosenthal, the team’s libero, appreciates Miller’s contribution to the team.

“I am so happy that Katelyn came to this school and plays volleyball for the team,” Rosenthal said. “She has great talent, and she is going to help our team win our games because she is a strong player and is aggressive. She runs all over the court, and she always tries to get the balls that come to her.”

Head coach David Tatum says he has high expectations for Miller during this season.

“Katelyn is a good player, and she became part of our family,” Tatum said. “She has amazing talent and is a good example to the junior varsity team as well. I expect her to keep up her great work and always try her best.”

For more information on volleyball, read the Volleyball sport shorts, 2010.

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