The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

The student website of Van Nuys High School
Van Nuys, California
The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

Alyssa Islas

From wearing maroon long sleeve shirts and shorts to wearing green and gold long sleeve shirts paired with shorts, Alyssa Islas fulfilled her long time dream of playing women’s college volleyball. 

Last year, Islas was the girls volleyball captain, starting setter, boys volleyball manager and, at times, girls volleyball coach. Her love for volleyball began when she was young and since then, she hasn’t stopped playing. 

At the end of the 2022-2023 school year, she took an athletic and academic scholarship to Pacific Union College, which she currently plays volleyball for. 

“I am fortunate enough to be on an athletic and academic scholarship and it’s been great,” Islas said. “I feel that I have grown a lot as an athlete and as a person. I started some of our games this year and have developed better classroom habits. I love challenging myself and pushing myself to be better and I have a great community around to support and encourage me.”

Playing college volleyball has been amazing for Islas, but she has seen a dramatic change between college and high school volleyball, such as individual conditioning for each player on the team. 

“A big difference is that a lot of it isn’t team practice and doing everything as a team, instead it’s having to hold ourselves accountable, doing individual work outs and applying it all on the court,” Islas said.

A struggle that she has faced this year is being separated from her family. In high school, her family would attend all her volleyball games. Now that she attends college farther away, it is harder for her family to make it to her games.

“I don’t have my family at every game or to talk about practice to,” Islas said. “Living 400 miles away from home was tough mentally and did have an effect on my play and ways of thought. Ultimately, what got me through all the pressure is remembering that my family, teammates and coaches from back home believed in me enough to get to this point, but it’s up to me to keep moving up in the ranks.”

Islas’s favorite part about playing volleyball for the Wolves were the relationships she built with her teammates. 

“I still talk to the girls I played with my freshman year and many who I played with my senior year,” she said. “My favorite memories include Senior Night bus rides back after wins and summer practice.”

Islas also believes that the experience of playing a sport has shaped her for the better. 

“As an athlete, I definitely overcome boundaries such as having to earn playing time and better myself all the way, to having to coach the team my junior year,” she said. “I learned what it truly means to be a leader which will stay with me as a person and an athlete for the rest of my life.”

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