Screenshot 2023 08 30 At 4.53.43 Pm
Millikan Volleyball

Girls’ Volleyball Preview: Millikan Rams

The562’s coverage of Millikan athletics in the 2023-24 school year is sponsored by Curtis Boyer.

Ashleigh Atsaros has been helping to propel the Millikan girls’ volleyball program forward since she took over as head coach, and last year was another jump, with the Rams finishing 13-6 and in third place in the Moore League thanks to beating Poly. 

The Rams graduated a big, talented class last year and will feature a lot of young talent this year as well as a few senior stalwarts.

“We’re a young team, a lot of sophomores and juniors,” said Atsaros. “The future looks really bright but right now we’re getting the jitters out.”

The Rams do return a pair of senior standouts, including first-team All-Moore League honoree Elle Lundahl at outside hitter, and Olivia Smith at setter.

“Elle is going to do a lot for us, she’s coming back confident and strong, she looks really good,” said Atsaros. “Oliva, her leadership on and off the court is amazing, you can always look to her and depend on her.” Smith has performed well enough to start the year that Atsaros is planning on keeping her running the show in a 5-1.

Junior Cali Tirado will be a big presence in the middle, joined by junior Juda Washington. The opposites aside from Lundahl will be sophomore Bethany Arnold and senior Makenzie Ford, with freshman Lila Walters playing opposite in a potential 6-2. Libero Sophia Orbiso is a talented sophomore who is back to her true position after being the Rams’ JV setter last season. Sophomore Aubrey Green adds more depth at opposite hitter for the Rams.

With so many young players, Atsaros said the biggest way she’s measuring her team’s progress this year isn’t just wins and losses.

“It’s development,” she said. “When we see the younger players stepping up and taking charge in their role as opposed to just leaning on Elle and Olivia, that’s a big thing, seeing those sophomores and juniors step into their role.”

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Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.