Athlete Feature: Kaley Sarreal


Lilian Chong, Staff Writer

As a vigorous player on the Girls Varsity Volleyball team, senior Kaley Sarreal continues to hone her volleyball skills at Hermosa Beach despite the pandemic hindering her opportunities to play with her team. Before the pandemic ravaged her chances of playing one last time as a senior, Kaley was a very active member on both her club and school team.

With a strong passion and love for the sport, Kaley began her volleyball career at the age of 12, when she decided to follow in the footsteps of her older sister, who had once played for AHS. Her love for the sport continued to grow when she discovered new friends and people who supported her endlessly. 

Despite the huge time commitment volleyball requires, Kaley would attend practices during sixth period or even after 4:00 p.m., where she and her teammates would practice conditioning and drills and go over skills to improve from previous games. 

“Before the pandemic, I also did club volleyball at San Gabriel Elite. I would have two practices during the week and extra practices if we had tournaments coming up. Tournaments were usually on the weekends. Practices were usually at night for two hours or more. I would have to finish my homework; then head over to practice immediately. On days I wasn’t practicing, I would volunteer at my club by coaching a 12-and-under team,” she said.

When Kaley initially joined the volleyball team as a freshman, the team qualified for the second round of the CIF. But when she landed on the Varsity team as only a sophomore, she and her teammates qualified for both rounds of CIF.

As a competitive athlete, Kaley discovered a variety of sports since her family is very sports-oriented. However, volleyball in particular was the sport she loved and admired. 

“I’ve always felt passionate about the sport I play. And that passion has helped me a lot in improvement and games,” she said.

But of course, with friends, families, teammates, and coaches who have helped shape her love for the sport, she would have lots of memories to cherish.

“At volleyball club, I met some of my best friends since everyone was from different schools, both public and private schools. Coaches and new friends were some people I always looked up to. At school, I got to meet my teammates and people who weren’t only in my grade. We became super close because of all the bonding events such as bus rides, pep rallies, and many more,” she said.

While she yearns to fulfill her senior year by making even more remarkable memories with her team, it appears unlikely for her to play one last time. Although she has decided not to pursue volleyball as an athletic career, she continues to stay fit and play the sport for fun at a local beach. She has recently been practicing and going to beach volleyball with three other girls to play for 2 to 3 hours. Though adjusting from indoor volleyball to beach volleyball takes commitment and time, Kaley enjoys the experience and challenges.

“She has become a more aggressive player from this past year, and it will be exciting to see more growth from her,” said AHS Girls Volleyball Coach Stephen Bernabe.

Through her journey of pursuing volleyball from middle school to the end of high school, Kaley’s devotion and passion for the sport will continue endlessly.


Photo courtesy of Kaley Sarreal