Middle school volleyball, cross country finish ‘successful’ final season, say goodbye to Sport Court

Middle+schoolers+run+and+play+basketball+on+the+Sport+Court+during+fitness+class.+In+addition+to+after+school+sports%2C+the+Court+is+used+for+daily+fitness+classes.
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Middle school volleyball, cross country finish ‘successful’ final season, say goodbye to Sport Court

Middle schoolers run and play basketball on the Sport Court during fitness class. In addition to after school sports, the Court is used for daily fitness classes.

Middle schoolers run and play basketball on the Sport Court during fitness class. In addition to after school sports, the Court is used for daily fitness classes.

Photo credit: Cat Oriel

Middle schoolers run and play basketball on the Sport Court during fitness class. In addition to after school sports, the Court is used for daily fitness classes.

Photo credit: Cat Oriel

Photo credit: Cat Oriel

Middle schoolers run and play basketball on the Sport Court during fitness class. In addition to after school sports, the Court is used for daily fitness classes.

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Archer’s multifunctional Sport Court and grass field are located behind the main building. On any given day during the fall sports season, it is easy to spot the middle school volleyball teams serving aces on the court or the middle school cross country team jogging around the historic campus and back field. With Archer Forward construction expected to start this summer, however, this was each team’s final season using the current facilities.

Both the middle school volleyball and cross country teams had successful seasons. The three volleyball teams placed either first or second in their divisions, and cross country finished second in the Pacific Basin League.

Volleyball

This year, middle school volleyball consisted of three teams divided based on age and skill: the A, B and C Teams.

I think that it was great we had a huge number of girls [try] out,” Middle School Sports Director Kristen Benjamin said.  “To have that many teams shows something about the popularity of volleyball [at Archer].” 

new-piktochart_18259893_8026ab7e1ef4c927cc2f6a5094299565f0017f3aAll three teams made it to the second round of their playoffs, while the C and B teams came in first in their division.

The A Team, coached by Amanda Anderson, lost in round two of playoffs against Willows Community School and placed 2nd in their division.

“As a team…we learned how to work with each other and that is really what helped us to succeed,” Bella Morgan ’21, captain of the A Team said.

During the first round of playoffs on Nov. 1, the A Team defeated Pacific Hills 2-0.

During the game, Morgan, who plays club volleyball at Actyve Volleyball Club had an 11 point serving run.

Founder and Co-Director of Actyve and Archer varsity volleyball assistant coach Lainey Gera filmed Morgan serving an ace. That video was posted to Actyve’s Instagram and has now reached over 641,000 views and counting.

“I was actually super surprised. I didn’t know about the video until it had so many views,” Morgan said. “[The popularity] is really cool.”

Cross Country

The cross country team, coached by Amelia Mathis and Riley Barrie, finished 2nd in the Pacific Basin League. According to Mathis, despite having only five girls, this was her favorite season.

“This was by far the best group of girls,” Mathis said. “I called them small but mighty.”

Although the team did not have an official captain, Hailey Hubbard ’22, “would technically be my captain,” Mathis said.

Hubbard finished first at every meet, and Mathis described her as the “MVP of everything.”

On Nov. 1, the team competed in their final meet at Kenneth Hahn Park, where they placed second. According to Mathis, each girl sprinted up the final hill of the race with the goal of coming in first on their mind. The anticipation of this concluding moment was something they had talked about the entire season.

“I would always ask them, ‘How do you want this season to end?'” she said. “They really worked hard. I couldn’t be more proud.”

Previewing 2017-2018

Due to the intended Archer Forward plan, the 2016-2017 school year will be the last on the sport court, which will be removed in the new plan. Without the Sport Court, the middle school teams will have to travel to other facilities for practice, like most upper school sports currently do.

“We have a lot of relationships with local community colleges, parks and a couple of other schools,” Benjamin said. “I think we’ll have no problem finding facilities for middle school as well.”

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