“Since 5th grade.” That is how long Harena Haile has been playing volleyball. With playing for that long, there is a tendency to see a lot of things. One of the things that is less good to see is a 10 in the losses column, especially with only 11 games. Starting the season 1-10 is a difficult way to start; however, Harena does not care about losing: “We aren’t really doing that well in league, but I don’t really care about winning.”
Harena is the only Senior on a Sophomore-dominated Varsity team. Out of the 15 girls on Varsity, eight of them are Sophomores. Harena says, “It’s mostly Sophomore girls, three Juniors and two new students. So, there are a lot of girls I never really knew before or like never played with any of the girls before, but it’s good, I like everyone I’m playing with.” It will usually make the record seem a little bit better if the team is having fun.
As a Senior playing a Varsity sport, it is probably difficult to handle the workload. “It’s definitely hard. I didn’t have a car until this year so I had to go from school to volleyball to the bus to piano to home and I’d get home at eight,” she said, “And then I had homework and eating and sleep.” This is a pretty packed day for a kid who doesn’t have any means of transportation besides walking and the bus. She also works two jobs. Harena says, “It’s hard, but it definitely isn’t impossible and it’s just all about how you manage your time.”
After high school, Harena plans to attend a four year university, and depending on where she goes, she wants to continue playing volleyball. “Not all schools offer club volleyball, but I’m going to do club or intramural volleyball,” says Harena. She is looking at schools in Southern California, one on the East Coast, and one school in New Orleans. Her main focus are the schools in Southern California. After college, she plans to go into Biomedical Engineering
Her other hobbies, besides volleyball, are playing the piano, doing yoga and working two jobs. She doesn’t play any other sports, so her main focus is volleyball. As the only Senior on the team, she is definitely outnumbered by the rest of her team, but she’s been playing the sport long enough and loves the sport enough that just playing is fun.
With eight games left in the season, the Cougar Varsity Volleyball team, led by the one and only Harena Haile, hopes to turn around their season for the better.
By Seamus McMillan