PSAL Comes To WESS: For Girls, It’s Just Volleyball


Pictured left to right; Olivia Lovci ‘26, Anna Fidel ‘26, Cara Bernard ‘26, and Clara Burns ‘25

Camilla Fiordaliso

A survey sent out in late August concerning Public Schools Athletic Leagues sports for the Fall excited WESS students as they eased their way back into their first “normal” school year since 2019. A record number of students completed this survey, and on October 7, it was officially announced that Girls Volleyball would be one of the two PSAL sports to be offered for highschoolers at WESS. 

Although the PSAL season started back in August, this pivotal moment did not go unnoticed. Around 40-50 students showed up to volleyball tryouts to test their skills, and for some, it meant giving the sport a try for the first time. 

Freshman Anna Fidel was one of many students who showed up to try out for the team. 

“I ended up choosing it because I thought I would have fun with it but also it was really important for me to meet new people.” 

Junior Clara Burns, who was a member of the team back in 2019 before WESS was a part of PSAL.

 “It’s lots of fun to be a part of a team and play the sport I love”, Burns said. 

According to these students, a shared benefit of WESS offering PSAL sports like volleyball, regardless of grade and age is meeting new people and being a part of a team, which is especially important after experiencing online school for almost two years. Even though volleyball only requires six players on the court at a time, unlike larger sports like soccer and football that have 11 players on the field at a time. The game is quick moving and highly tactical. Volleyball only requiring six people means that team sizes average from 10-12 players. Smaller team size means that fewer people have the opportunity to play the sport. 

Fidel was disappointed that other sports weren’t being offered. As a freshman, she told me that she was very disappointed because “many people are missing out on sports opportunities since the teams are very limited to individual skills”.

 Limitation due to skill is another potential downside of volleyball being the only girls sport offered. This has begged the question, was volleyball the right choice then for the only girls sport being offered at WESS? 

Volleyball head coach Carlos Gonzalez explained why only one PSAL sport was chosen, “Honestly, I believe it has to do with being a new school and being placed in developmental brackets.” 

What that means is that PSAL wants WESS to prove that it has committed athletes and would follow through with practicing and attending games, basically committing to WESS athletics. Although there are some evident downsides to only offering one small team sport for all WESS high school girls, people I interviewed ultimately feel that establishing the girls Volleyball team for PSAL is a step in the right direction for WESS athletics and our community overall. 

“I believe this team can go as far as they want to as long as they stick together and have fun in the process,” Carlos told me when I asked what his hopes were for this upcoming season. 

The future of WESS athletics is bright as long as our tight knit student community can continue to work together and voice our opinions. But for now, it’s important to support our peers already participating in WESS athletics. The Girls Varsity Volleyball team is officially here at WESS so make sure to show your support as they represent the WESS Wildcats this Fall 2021 season.