Tough fought season comes to an end


Photos by Kevin Perez/ The Skyline View

Claire Hardiman hits the ball but is challenged by Cañada’s blockers on Nov. 11, 2016 at Skyline College

Skyline’s women’s volleyball team was unable to keep their winning streak following a loss against Cañada College on November 11, 2016.

It was the second (and last) time the two teams would play. While the team consists of two sophomores and the rest being freshmen, the new players proved that they could hang on the court with second-year players. The Trojans played gracefully together during their second to last game of the season.

During the first set Skyline had their lowest score in the match up, where they lost 16-25.

In the second set, the Trojans carried a lead late into play, but ultimately failed to take it. Losing the set 25-21, the Trojans settled into the game, and seemed to build momentum.

Skyline’s offense came swinging in full force during the third set. The team showed their consistency on the court but seemed to get uncomfortable halfway through, which is where Cañada was able to execute and take the lead yet again.

To say Skyline gave the game to Cañada would be a lie. The entire team gave everything they had, which resulted in each player scoring at least once throughout the game.

Justice Atafasi, Claire Hardiman and Marisa Kealoha were the highest scorers of the game with a combined total of 25 points.

In the world of sports, fans are mainly obsessed with the win-loss aspect of the game. But head coach Rayannah Salahuddin’s main goal is to provide her student-athletes with the necessary tools to win their bigger game – life.

“The one thing most people don’t know is that we’re all about ensuring that our kids move on and matriculate,” Salahuddin said. “Even if they don’t move on to play, they move on and transfer. Win at life. To me, that’s success.”

Salahuddin takes pride in knowing that even if the athletes don’t continue to play volleyball at their next school, they will ultimately transfer to a four-year university. The team’s overall GPA of 3.79 reinforces the mentality of academics first, volleyball second.

With that kind of strength being ingrained into the players’ minds, the court is a place for the team to display their athletic talents and have fun. Hardiman mirrored the sentiment when she explained what the team seeks to accomplish at their season closer against Foothill College: “We’re going to try our hardest [to secure a win] and have fun.”

Atafasi is well aware of the mistakes the team struggles with but her outlook shines with optimism.

“One of our struggles has been communication,” Atafasi said. “We just need to work on executing. We practice all the time. We just need to implement what we learn during practice into the game … Then we can be successful.”

In a game where a team’s success is contingent on how the players operate together instead of individually, the team showed that they can stand in the face of adversity and fight until the very last minute.

“We always play our hardest, no matter what,” Hardiman said.

Although the disappointing outcome of the season the team has stayed positive.

“The biggest accomplishment [of the team] is the community we’ve built and most people don’t get to see that because everyone is into win-loss,” Salahuddin said when asked about the accomplishments of the team. “We have players that come back and help coach the kids.”