PERRYDALE — It’s Alyssa Lux’s last year of high school volleyball, and as the season draws closer to the end, she says she can feel the weight of it all.
“I just always thought about like, ‘oh I have next year; it’s OK, we’ll get it next year,’ but soon there’s not going to be a next time,” Lux said. “I didn’t believe people when they said, oh (high school) will go by fast, but it does. It’s just crazy how fast time goes. It’s weird.”
And because an end is in sight, she wants to finish this year strong, with sights set on going to state.
“I just hope that we make the best of this year,” she said, “and know that whatever happens, happens. But I believe we have the skill and talent to go (to state).”
This year has a different feel to it because she knows it’s her last, and Lux wants to make the most of the time she has.
“She’s somewhat of a perfectionist, and so she wants to get that kill every single time, that hard hit, which also transfers to being competitive on the court,” head coach Denise Dickey said. “She wants that kill, and I think we’re in a position right now where, and I often see this with players when they’re seniors, it’s a whole different level of drive, because they know they’re almost done. And if they don’t keep continuing, their season could end in three weeks or it could keep going, and I think that starts to play in their head, and that’s not something anyone else experiences unless they’re a senior.”
Currently, the Pirates are 21-4 overall, and 9-2 in league, sitting just below St. Paul, who has been undefeated so far this season and was moved into the Casco League just this year, making them a new opponent for the Pirates.
Playing against the Buckaroos was a different experience than the girls were used to.
“Recently, St. Paul moved down to our division, and that was something hard to adjust to,” Lux said. “They’re really our rivals now. I don’t think we realized how good they were.”
Their 3-0 loss against St. Paul was the Pirates first loss of the season, and Lux said it taught them a lot about who they are as team.
“Now that we played them, we’re going to be better than last time because we know what is going on, who their best players are, where to put the ball, that kind of stuff,” she said.
In the beginning of the season, Lux was named team captain, something the rest of the team determined together. And it’s a role Lux said she has taken seriously.
“I need to set an example for the girls,” she said. “I feel like I’m pressured to be that person that’s looked at on the court, and so whenever I mess up, I feel like I’m letting down the team, but everybody makes mistakes, so I just need to not even look at that part at all.”
Lux has been playing volleyball since fifth grade, and plays club volleyball throughout the year, giving her seven years of experience that adds to her leadership on the court.
“Volleyball is her love,” Dickey said. “She knows the game, so I always like to have somebody who knows the game … and she’s very passionate about volleyball.”
Lux said she is always looking for ways to improve. Being able to recover from a loss or a bad moment in the game is an area she says she has always struggled with because of the amount of pressure she puts on herself.
“Nobody’s perfect,” she said. “I’ve always been pretty hard on myself, and that’s really my goal for the rest the year, is to just shake it off.”
Last year, the Pirates made it through the second round of playoffs, losing 3-1 against Joseph. Three more weeks remain of the season, and Lux wants to make it memorable.
“Going to state would be super nice, but I really just want to think of it as one of the best experiences of my life. (The team) has all been together for a really long time, since middle school. I just want to look back and just know that we tried our best throughout the entire season.”