By Ebony Cole and Daniel Cooper
Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School
It has been about five years since the girls' volleyball team at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School had competed for a volleyball championship. Last year's team had only 3 returning players (Ebonnie Cole, Alyssa Arrieta, and Mariana Garcia), which made it a challenge to teach so many new comers the game.
Since the team didn't have that much experience, it was not expected that the girls would make it to any playoff matches. 2003-2004 is where the spotlight began to work its way over to the girls of King.
"I think they have progressed and improved so much since last year. All of these girls will do extremely well in high school because they have so much talent and skill."- Coach Serena Cereceres.
A record of 7-1 had the girls headed straight to the playoffs. "We worked so hard all summer, and I knew we would have a successful season," Coach Cereceres explained. The girls placed second in the city and met up with Shandin Hills in the first playoff match. The girls put on their game faces and won with a 15-9,15-5 victory. The girls then went on to play Golden Valley in a head to head match for the championship.
The first game was played with a lot of teamwork with a win of 16-14. Unfortunately, the girls lost the second and the third game. However, the girls received a second place trophy. King Middle School Principal James J. Espinoza stated: "For the first time in Kings history both our squads made the Championship Game. Although we finished second, we engaged in a hard fought battle that ended with great sportsmanship and character that would have made Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., our namesake, proud.
As I shared with our parents, students, community and staff following the games, the best teams were in the Championship Games. " Since we will only have two re-turners next year we will have to focus the summer on skill development," said Coach Cereceres.
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