Athletes Find Their Passion in Volleyball

Sophomore, Lauren DeSantiago

Gretta Alumbaugh, Staff Writer

Balancing school from sports is a constant battle on and off the court. Senior Mikah Merrill and junior Lauren DeSantiago knows what it takes to play a battling game of volleyball on Randall’s varsity and junior varsity volleyball team.  

Merrill is a middle blocker on the varsity team and has been playing volleyball since she was in second grade.  She said she has high standards for herself on the court and in the classroom. She is in the top 5% of her class. Merrill said she makes time for her school work, whether its before games or after.  

“I love the intensity and excitement volleyball brings,” Merrill said. “I also love being with my teammates.”

The 2018-2019 volleyball season started at the beginning of August, but conditioning and open gym was going on during summer which Merrill attended.

“I want to win and go far this year in playoffs and hopefully make it to state,” Merrill said. “That goal keeps me motivated to come and get better everyday.”

DeSantiago is on the junior varsity team and is a libero or defense specialist. She has been playing volleyball since she was in the first grade and hopes to continue to play in college.

“I am interested in Southwestern Oklahoma State University,” DeSantiago said. “My sister plays there and is very content and I want the same. I want to go anywhere that makes me happy.”

To get ready for the volleyball season, she said she knows what she needs to work on to get better and focuses on those things every moment leading up to the next season.

“The thrill and the love for the game motivates me,” DeSantiago said. “ I love the teamwork involved and the excitement. It is easy to stay balanced with everyone on the team helping each other with school work, being supportive, helpful and always giving feedback.”