The562’s season previews for the 2022-23 school year are sponsored by Vertical Raise, the official team fundraising partner of The562.
The562’s volleyball coverage is sponsored by Misty May-Treanor and the Dream in Gold Foundation
There’s a ton of excitement and anticipation for this year’s Millikan volleyball season, and rightfully so. Last year the Rams beat Long Beach Poly for the first time in a decade and a half, and second-year coach Ashleigh Atsaros’ group is poised to be even better this season as they continue to mature and return some key players from injury.
“I feel like we’re super competitive this year, we’re expecting some big wins this season,” said Atsaros. “We look a lot stronger than we did last year–we’ve been going hard in the gym and I’m excited to get to the season.”
With nine seniors on the team including plenty of returning talent, it’s clear why. The Rams return outside hitter Elle Lundahl, who will get a lot of swings again. Millikan will also feature Aaliyah Fasavalu, who was on the team but missed most of last season with injuries. The 6-1 middle blocker is back this year and a potential gamechanger in a league lacking in height this season.
“She’s going to be a huge presence for us offensively and defensively,” said Atsaros.
The other middle is Olivia Martinez, with Brittany Mendoza at libero. Peyton Kirk, Sydney Thaut, and Judah Washington are in the mix to be the other pin hitters on the team, with Isabella Wilhelm and Alessia Filocamo handling setting duties.
About the only thing the Rams are missing is proven leaders, having graduated some key voices from last year’s team.
“We definitely feel like we’re taking a step forward–our seniors last year brought a lot to the table but this year’s seniors are ready to step up,” said Atsaros. “We just need girls to step up into that leader role.”
In addition to the obvious momentum surge at Millikan, Atsaros said she’s happy to be a part of a league on the rise, as the Moore League improves as a whole.
“I truly love all the support I’ve gotten from Mike and Megan and Gerald,” she said, referencing the coaches of Lakewood, Poly, and Wilson. “They have my back–I want the best for their programs too. I’m excited to be a part of it.”
The Rams will face Anaheim Canyon (8 a.m.) and Valley Christian (4 p.m.) at Wilson this Saturday to open pool play for the Tae Kim Lakewood/Molten Classic.