PREP VOLLEYBALL: ‘I really loved every single one of them’: Fairview’s Janet Orona recaps freshman season

Fairview’s Janet Orona. (Courtesy of Janet Orona)

FAIRVIEW, Ala. — Fairview freshman volleyball player Janet Orona had a good season in her first year on the JV team she and talked about what she learned, plus what it was like playing alongside a great group of teammates.

“My experience on this volleyball team was amazing. I really enjoyed everything about this team, from my teammates and my coaches to the fight and love we have for this sport. I really enjoyed this season, and we grew so much from the summer until our last game. I learned a lot of things from year, thanks to coach Stanley and coach Ball. I learned to hustle for every ball on the court and to never give up, even when we are losing,” Orona said. “I mostly learned that hard work pays off and going into practice and putting in all that work with my team, paid off at the end of the season. I learned to have trust in your teammates, and to never give up, even if we are winning or losing. Every point mattered to us.”

She added,

“I really loved every single one of them. I feel like I grew more friendships with this sport and got to learn more from them. We all trusted each other on the court and gave each other support on the good days or bad days. They taught me how to be a better teammate on the court and how to handle tight game situations. They also taught me many skills, like how to better my passing on serve receive.”

Janet was so blessed to have learned so much from two great coaches. She saw a ton of improvement in her performance from the start of the season until now.

“My coaches are amazing. I really appreciate the time and dedication they put in my team. They really pushed us and taught us so much this past season. I learned that every point matters, hustle for everything, and to have a passion about this sport. They didn’t just teach me about the sport; they taught me how to grow as an athlete,” she said. “I saw a huge improvement in my performance. Even though I lacked communication skills with my team at first, towards the end of the season, though, I had good communication skills. I also improved my mentality, which affected my performance on the court. In total, I saw so much improvement from the summer until the end of the season. I improved the most on my defense and picking up short balls. I also feel like my serve receive definitely got much better from middle school until the end of the season.”

Janet has some goals set for herself and for the team next season and she feels blessed to be a part of a special team.

“My personal goals are being the libero for my team and to be a better leader. Our team goals are to win county and to win all of our county games in the regular season,” she said. “All of the girls made the team so special to me. I really never felt this connection with any other team, so I really do think it was the girls. Next season, I think our connection will be deeper, just because we will bring back most of the team from last year. I definitely think that next year will be a good year for us.

Janet has a few role models that she looks up to in volleyball.

“My role models in collegiate volleyball is Madison Skinner and Emma Halter from the University of Texas, and in school ball, it’s Abby McDonald. Madison is a good all-around player. She can play every position and has a great serve. She has also won three national championships, which is something to look up to. Emma Halter is barely a sophomore and is a starting libero for one of the top volleyball schools. She is such a good player and helped Texas win the national championship. Abby was such a good libero and definitely carried the back row for us. She’s special to be around, because she went for every ball and really gave me a push during games.”

Janet shared some of the best advice that she’s been given and talked about how important it is to be a role model for the younger girls that are watching her play.

“The best advice that someone has ever given me is to not care about what other people think of you and just do you. For volleyball, I think it would be don’t let one bad game define or affect you,” she said. “It’s very important, because the younger girls have to have someone to look up to. I also think it’s important, because the younger girls watching me play gives me support and strives me to be better. What I learned about myself last season is that I have to let my team give me support during bad games. As for my team, we learned that we have to work together and not give up in any game that we play.”

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