Ceres High School grad Alyssa Stiles competed in women’s volleyball and track and field as a true freshman at Modesto Junior College during the 2019-20 school year.
“Volleyball is my main sport,” Stiles said. “I miss it like crazy.”
The 2020 volleyball season is slated to begin on Sept. 11.
Stiles and her Pirate teammates are prohibited from training together due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m still in contact with my coach and team,” Stiles said. “We text often. We’re supposed to have a shortened season with no spectators.”
Stiles had a productive first season of volleyball with the Pirates last fall.
“The biggest challenge was the pace of the game,” said Stiles, a 5-foot-9 middle blocker. “It was a whole new level compared to high school. I had to figure out how to be faster and quicker. I had to focus on timing.”
Stiles totaled 114 kills, 46 blocks, 43 digs, 37 aces and 12 assists in 25 matches.
Modesto Junior College amassed a 10-15 overall record and tied for fourth place in the Big-8 standings (5-11).
“I definitely did improve a lot,” Stiles said. “My mentality changed. Being more positive helped my game. I always tried my best.”
“Coach (Brenda Moser) was one of my biggest supporters,” she added. “She always had something to positive to say. She gave me confidence. The way she coaches is incredible. Everything is fast-paced. There’s never any walking at practices.”
Stiles competed just once during Modesto Junior College’s track and field season.
She soared a personal-best 33 feet, 10 inches while finishing sixth overall in the triple jump at the Jim Linthicum Invitational on Feb. 22 in Cupertino.
Slowed by knee and thigh injuries, Stiles was forced to scratch in the long jump.
“I got injured,” Stiles said. “It was upsetting. I feel almost 100 percent better now.”
Stiles planned to compete again. But Modesto Junior College’s season was cut short several weeks later because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Sports are the thing I always had,” Stiles said. “I’ve never had them taken away from me. It’s weird for everyone right now. I haven’t seen my family – aunts and uncles – months at a time.”
Stiles graduated from Ceres High School in 2019.
She earned first-team all-Western Athletic Conference honors during her final season of volleyball.
Stiles participated in the First Annual Stanislaus County Girls Volleyball All-Star Game.
Stiles and the North bested the South 3-0 in the small-school contest.
Stiles placed sixth in the triple jump (33-51/2) and eighth in the long jump (15-51/4) at the 2019 Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV Track & Field Championships.
She took second in the triple jump (33-71/2) and fourth in the long jump (15-20) at the WAC Finals.