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Student forms connections, overcomes challenges through volleyball

Finding herself in a rare position, freshman Rachel Moate plays for the varsity girls volleyball team. Moate boasts years of playing volleyball not only for school, but for club as well.

Megan LeBlanc | The Feather Online

Freshman Rachel Moate enjoys going on trips and traveling with her family.

While she discovered her love for the game in the fourth grade, Moate also participated in most sports available during her junior high and elementary years.

“I have been playing volleyball for six years, club for five years, and beach for two years,” Moate said. “In fourth grade, I wanted to play all the sports I possibly could. When I played volleyball, it really stuck with me and I enjoyed it from then on.”

Moate enjoys the satisfaction of playing on the campus team and describes some of the feelings she experiences while in a game.

“It is really fun to celebrate everyone else if they have a good play,” Moate said. “The teamwork that goes into volleyball makes a huge difference in the performance. When we get a rally and everyone gets crazy, you can’t help but smile because it’s so much fun to see everyone happy because of something you are doing together.”

Though new to the team, Moate continues to make connections with her teammates. Hannah VanNoy, ‘21, plays on the varsity team and knows Moate from earlier volleyball experiences.

“I played volleyball with Rachel in eighth grade while she was in sixth,” VanNoy said. “This will be my second year playing on a team with her. I love playing with Rachel. She is a great hitter and has amazing serves. She is full of joy and is kind to everyone on our team.”

In the following podcast, Brayden Iest interviews Rachel Moate about how the varsity volleyball team works together during matches.

For Moate, difficulties arise even in the sport that she loves to play. While playing club, she encountered a new coach whose methods seemed a little extreme for her. However, Moate realized the reason for her coach’s harsh behavior. 

“Last club season, I had a coach who I didn’t really like,” Moate said. “He was a little rough and I didn’t like that at first. At that point in time, I thought about quitting. As time went on, I realized that he was coaching us ultimately out of love no matter how rough he seemed. I realized I was improving a lot, so I decided to go through with it.” 

Paige Provost | The Feather Online

Besides playing volleyball, Moate, center,  spends her free time reading. Her favorite titles consist of “Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter”.

Varsity girls volleyball coach, Kit Maddox observes aspects in Moate that he says make a good teammate. Maddox attended Fresno State and won a National Championship playing volleyball there.

“Good attitude has a lot to do with moving up on the team,” Maddox said. “Rachel has put in the time and played volleyball a lot in the past and it shows in her skills and the way she plays. Rachel is a little on the quiet side, which actually makes it easier because she can fit in well. She also has a good work ethic and because of that, the rest of the team trusts her.”

Moate appreciates how her family supports her in her volleyball career. Rachel lives with her father Rob, her mother Dawn and her brother Dane.

Her brother, Dane Moate, ’21, also attends Fresno Christian and looks optimistically toward his sister on varsity. He says their family continues to support Rachel the way they did during her other volleyball opportunities.

“I find it cool that my sister is on the varsity team,” Dane said. “She has been doing volleyball for a long time so it should be good for her. Her playing doesn’t really affect our family mechanics because she’s been doing it for so long; we are used to coming to her games and supporting her.”

The varsity volleyball team will play their next game at Summit Charter Collegiate Academy, Sept. 24, 5:30 p.m. The following game will be played against Kings Christian at King Christian High School, Sept. 26, 6 p.m.

For more profiles, read Andrew Moore expresses faith on, off the field and Kayla Vanderlinden shines light on and off the court.

Brayden Iest can be reached via, Twitter and via email.

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