Halee Parnell graduated from high school in 2015 and played her final years of club volleyball at FPVC. Now, Halee is coaching for us at FPVC and is playing at Sac City, rounding out 10 years of playing competitive volleyball. She loves volleyball and “could not get enough of it” so she decided to play club to satisfy her love for the sport and further her skills. Halee says that playing club volleyball taugt her “ how to work with a team, responsibility in everyday life and time management as a student athlete.” Halee misses “going to tournaments” and having the opportunity “to travel to different states and see teams from” Hawaii and even Russia play- something she says “I’ll never forget.” Halee hopes younger athletes know that "hard work and dedication are keys to success" and to always remember that “everyday you miss practice, someone is getting better than you.”
Jordyn Williams graduated in 2016 and has been playing volleyball for 11 years. She began playing for Force when she was just nine years old and has been in love with the sport ever since. Jordyn decided to play volleyball improve her skills and since both of her parents coach volleyball, the sport has always been a family activity for the Williams. Jordyn says that playing for Force taught her “the importance of hard work and perseverance” as well as dealing with adversity, being a good leader and the power of higher standards. Though Jordyn has been playing for UC Davis' club team, she says that she misses her teammates and coaches from Force the most. Jordyn advises young players that “even if you may not be exactly what colleges are looking for… that doesn’t mean you can’t play in college” and the passion, intensity and leadership skills you learn from playing will get you far in life as well as in volleyball.
Katie Haley graduated high school after her final season at FPVC in 2014 and played volleyball at Sac City for 2 years before transferring to UC Davis and playing for their club team for a year. Katie decided to play club in high school because she loved volleyball and wanted to play in college. She says that club volleyball taught her “the joy of competition and mental toughness.” She says she still misses competing in long tournaments. She has been playing since she was in 5th grade and will be graduating from Davis in the Spring. She wants young players to know that “your best asset when you play isn’t your skill level, but your mental game” and she says that if you are driven and volleyball smart, you can still compete with teams that are more technically advanced. She also advises young athletes that “if you want to be better, you have to put in the time outside of practice to better your game.”
Cassidy Maw, a setter who graduated in 2017, plays at William Jessup. She started playing volleyball at FPVC 8 years ago because she was in love with the sport and could not get enough. She says “playing a school season wasn’t enough” so she opted to play year-round. She told us that “playing club taught me how to be a good teammate” and how to “stay positive when the odds are stacked against” her. Cassidy also said that she misses the coaches, teammates, and long tournaments the most. She advises young players “to enjoy playing club while they can” and “if you want to play in college, make every rep count.”
Kaitlyn Foster started playing club volleyball with FPVC when she was 9 years old and now she plays for San Diego State University’s club team. She says that “volleyball was one of the most important parts” of her life when she was growing up and she “created some of the best relationships with” her teammates and coaches. Kaitlyn attributes much of her confidence to playing volleyball and also says that she learned the importance of time management, cooperation and teamwork from playing. Her advice to younger players is to follow your instincts, do not let anyone tell you that you are not good enough, and if you want something, go for it!
Leanne Newell plays at UC Riverside but started playing club at FPVC when she was 12 years old after her aunt encouraged her to start going to the club’s clinics. She says she “fell in love with it immediately.” Leanne says playing club taught her how to be a leader, speak up, and trust her own abilities. She credits volleyball for teaching her how to speak up for what she believes in. Leanne also said that her role as a team captain pushed her out of her comfort zone and has paid of for her in her collegiate volleyball career immensely. She says that she misses the friends that she played with most and enjoyed being able to meet, play with and against people from all over the area. Her advice for younger players would be to do not be afraid to put yourself out there and do something you are not completely comfortable with, give it your all at practice and play every game like it could be your last.
Sienna Young has been playing volleyball since she was 9 years old and now plays at Saint Mary’s. Young played club because she loved volleyball and wanted to get better. Her younger sister plays volleyball as well and her dad coaches so volleyball has been a part of the Young family for years now. Sienna says that “playing club taught me how to be a good teammate and appreciate the sacrifices your family makes for you.” She also says that she misses her “past teammates the most and the memories” they made while travelling together. Her advice for young athletes is to “continue enjoying volleyball and always work hard but never forget that it is just a game and you are supposed to be having fun!”
Alyssa Chin graduated high school in 2015 and decided to keep playing volleyball at American River College. She started playing volleyball eight years ago when she decided to play club volleyball for “the experience and found out it was super fun learning the sport” and challenging herself to get better. Alyssa says that playing club taught her many life lessons including “to not give up on yourself or your teammates” and “it’s very important to practice positive mental habits as it is to practice physical habits.” She also told us that she misses “team bonding” since “a close knit team always has better connections on the court.” She wants younger athletes to always remember “you must enjoy the process of working hard with your teammates and yourself. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing then it will be 100 times harder to focus on the overall goal” and “it can be easy to sway into an emotional rollercoaster, but being able to snap out of the low energy feeling can be very helpful when your team is in a rut.”
Erin Chelini played at FPVC for 6 years and is currently playing for Sacramento State’s club team. She told us that she chose to play club in high school because she “wanted to compete at a higher level than [her] school team had to offer” and that she “wanted to play with teammates that would push” her to improve. According to Erin, volleyball taught her “how to better present [herself] as a player.” She misses playing club with the amazingly talented people” she got to play with and “the family feeling” she got every time she wanted into the gym. She told us that “the top piece of advice I could give to younger players is do not hold back. You’re playing for a reason so keep that in mind every time you get on the court. Work hard for yourself, your coaches, and your teammates and you will have an amazing worthwhile experience.”
Candice Reynoso graduated high school in 2015. She has been playing for over 9 years and after playing two seasons at Sac City, she transferred to Sacramento State where she now plays on their club team. She says that she chose to play volleyball because she “wanted to gain more competitive experience” which would help her develop the skills she needed to be the best player she possibly could. She also to us that “being a part of a club, specifically FPVC, was one of the best decisions of my life because through this club I made great relationships with my coaches as well as teammates.” Playing club volleyball taught her how to “develop leadership and teamwork skills” and playing “allowed [her] to tap into leadership skills” she “didn’t know [she] had.” Finally, Candice also told us that playing club volleyball and being a student taught her how to multitask and how to manage her time well. Candice says she misses “traveling to away tournaments and competing, then after a long day of playing, hanging out poolside with my teammates who were also my best friends. Her advice to younger players is to “have a good growth mindset, a determined attitude, and an appreciation for the team you are on.” She also wants to remind young athletes that “being a great player doesn’t happen overnight. You have to work for it and to not let setbacks be your downfall” and “as a great coach” once told her, “the art of being good is never really sucking.”
Deziree (Dez) Mckee is in her first year at Southern Oregon and played club at FPVC for four years. Dez said that “At first I wanted nothing to do with club volleyball and my parents made me play, but after the first year I fell in love with the game and the family that comes with it.” She also says that “playing club taught me how to push myself passed what I think I can accomplish” and that it is “ok to lean on others when I’m down, and that I can also lift others up.” Dez told us that she misses long tournaments with her “force family” the most. She also advises younger players to “push your boundaries and find meaning in failure. Everyday you push yourself and learn from your mistakes, you not only become a better player, but a better person too.”
Jazmine Williams played at San Francisco State after graduating high and after playing for Force. She says that she always knew she wanted to play in college and club was the best opportunity for her to advance her skills and gave her the best opportunity to reach her goal, play with and against some of the best athletes in the area all year long She explains that playing club taught her how to “be a leader,” how to work with others become a good team member and how to be supportive. She also says that playing club taught her skills that make “you very successful in a work environment.” Most importantly, she says that club volleyball taught her perseverance and how to “thrive during adversity.” She says she misses the family environment most explaining that coaches become like second parents, the girls become like sisters, and that feeling is “irreplaceable.” “I had the time of my life paying with the force organization because they became my family.” She advises younger athletes not to not grow up top fast, “enjoy club one moment at a time” and push through any and all hard times because you can get through anything!