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Senior leads with encouragement, joy

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Julia, right, is pictured with her older sister Mariana Fikse, ’18, at a volleyball tournament.

Years of practice, grueling workouts and countless hours of training all lead up to this season for senior Julia Fikse. One of five senior volleyball girls, Fikse hopes her hard work and commitment pays off.

She first took part in sports at the age of ten when she became involved in volleyball and basketball for her school at the time, Crossroads Christian Schools. She participated in volleyball in fifth through eighth grade and played one year of club volleyball in sixth grade.  

Fikse says one of her favorite aspect of volleyball consist of the pregame traditions she holds with her teammates and appreciates the friendships forged through the sport.

“My favorite memory of volleyball are all the pregame traditions we do as a team plus all of our secret handshakes,” Fikse said. “I’m going to miss hanging out with Sophia, Kaylie and Kamryn the most in volleyball because we have grown so close playing all four years together.”

While Fikse learned to play volleyball from all of her different coaches, she was encouraged by her parents to play sports and to get involved, allowing her an opportunity to build strong friendships.

Fikse’s parents enjoy watching Julia play volleyball. Her mother, Marie Fikse, shares why she likes to watch Julia compete.

She is dependable, valuable and I can trust her in any situation and she is very honest. She is very, very comitted to loving God and loving others and I think it is evident how she treats everybody. — Kori Friesen, Journalism advisor

“We enjoyed watching her play because she always gave it her all and it was fun watching her improve the more she played,” Marie said.“We have always loved watching her volleyball games and will be sad to see it end. It’s been a joy to watch her and her teammates play and improve together. They always encourage each other and have a lot of fun together. We have enjoyed watching her play volleyball and are bittersweet about her graduating as well as her volleyball career coming to a close.”

Growing up in volleyball and journalism together has connected senior Kamryn Schultz to Fikse. She admires her hard work and dedication to anything she takes part in and appreciates the way she encourages others around her.

“Julia is such an amazing person to be around,” Schultz said. “She uplifts people not only on the court, but in the journalism lab and in class. Although I’ve only known her for a couple years, she has become a really close and great friend. She is joyful and fun and I’m so glad she is on my team for my senior year.”

In addition to volleyball, Fikse has also competed on the girls varsity basketball team, sings in the campus choir, serves in leadership and was recently crowned Homecoming queen. However, Fikse credits her time in photojournalism to increasing her love of photography.

Journalism advisor Kori Friesen has taught Fikse the past four years and works alongside her as a mentor. Friesen discusses the growth she has watched in Fikse.

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

In addition to playing volleyball, Fikse is a photojournalist, sings in choir and serves in leadership.

“When Julia first started as a photojournalist, she was shy and unsure of herself, but willing to learn.” Friesen said. “After seeing her through a hard first year, even wanting to quit, I convinced her to stay another year and something clicked after she stepped into a leadership role. I’ve seen her camera skills advance, but more awesomely, I’ve seen her personal skills advance as she has come out of her shell.

“She is dependable, valuable and I can trust her in any situation and she is very honest,” Friesen continued. “She has a very good sense of boundaries in her life, which is very healthy. She is very, very comitted to loving God and loving others and I think it is evident how she treats everybody.”

Senior Sophia Kalugin has played alongside Fikse in volleyball for the past four years. The two have become close friends over the years.

“I have known Julia for almost four years now and she has become one of my closest friends,” Kalugin said. “We have been involved in numerous activities together such as volleyball, school trips, and TEA talks. She has inspired so many people at the school by setting an example of what a Christ follower should look like.”

Outside of school, Fikse spends time with her dogs and riding quads with cousins and hanging out with friends.

One of Fikse’s best friends, Kaylie Clem, ’19, shares her thoughts about Fikse’s friendship.

“Julia is such an amazing friend and encourager on and off the court,” Clem said. “She is a beacon of joy wherever she goes, brightening anyone’s day. I know that I can always rely on Julia to make me feel better when I’m having a bad day. After playing volleyball together for four consecutive years, it’s safe to say that Julia is a very strong leader on the team. We are very lucky to have such a Godly, encouraging and supportive friend on the team.”

Fikse plans to apply to Cal Baptist (CBU), Fresno State, Point Loma Nazarene University and Clovis Community, choosing not to continue volleyball in college. Her goal is to study interior design and photography.

For more profiles, check out Schultz strives for excellence on and off court and Anthony Diaz values friends and family.

Alexander Rurik can be reached via Twitter @alexrurik23, email and Instagram.

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