By Lanise Luna
The Lady Braves, Noli Indian School’s volleyball team, fought for the Warrior League title this semester, for the first time in years.
While the team didn’t ultimately win the title, the Lady Braves were able to maintain a winning streak for 10 games once the season started in August. They competed against six other schools in the league.
The school’s volleyball team has a reputation for being competitive. Last year the Lady Braves played at the California Interscholastic Federation, or CIF, championships.
Coaches Andrea Helms and Brian Savage kept the girls on top of their game with daily practices and two games each week. With nonstop practice after school, the Lady Braves grew stronger as a team and as friends.
Helms has coached volleyball for three years and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon, she said. She worked on developing bonds with the girls individually.
“The commitment from each player helped us grow stronger as a team,” she said.
Team captain Shalea Luna, a senior, said she aspires to coach the Lady Braves herself one day. Luna, who is a Pala Band of Mission Indians tribal member, first joined the team as a sophomore.
She said she has learned to be more positive and committed because of volleyball.
“I love each and every one of those girls and it was such an honor playing with them for my last year,” Luna said. “There were times I wanted to give up, but the team pushed me to stay positive.”
Noli Indian School’s 2019-2020 volleyball team included: Luna, co-captain Tanya Rivera, Lanise Luna, Iyana Briones, Lilly Zubia, Violet Zubia, Abbie Nevarez, Amy Soza, Sica Rivera, Ciara Ramos, and Vanessa Fernandez.