Enjoying the sport of volleyball as a spectator was just the catalyst Nicolette Aguilar needed to get herself into the game.
“I thought it was a great game to watch, so I tried it,” says Aguilar, who began playing volleyball in the sixth grade. “I loved it. I enjoyed the sport and loved the team aspect.”
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Now a senior at Cornelia Connelly High School and in her second year as a varsity player, Aguilar was voted co-captain by her teammates, a role she fills by being both a leader and an encourager. And by playing the position of libero for the Koalas, Aguilar is an integral part of the team’s effort each outing.
“As our libero, which is a very important position on the court, Nicolette probably touches the ball more than our other players,” says Connelly varsity volleyball head coach Whitney Spradling. “Because she never leaves the floor, she has to be focused and ready to go each and every game. She does a fantastic job.”
It has been said that sports imitate life, and Aguilar would agree, as the sport of volleyball has given the 17 year old plenty to use off the court.
“Some life lessons that I’ve learned (from volleyball) would be to never give up and that anything is possible,” says Aguilar. “Just to do the best that you can and put all your effort into everything that you do.”
When she’s not on the court, Aguilar serves both her campus and her community in a variety of roles with several organizations.
As a member of Campus Ministry at Connelly and a Eucharistic Minister, Aguilar helps with serving at Mass as well as leading morning prayer.
Off campus, Aguilar is a member of the Downey chapter of Assistance League, where she serves as chairman. She’s also been a member of the Girl Scouts for 13 years and is working toward achieving her Girl Scout Gold Award, representing the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. Her project concept involves creating an organization that is sustainable.
After graduation, Aguilar hopes to be heading up north to Saint Mary’s College of California, where she will study health sciences on her way to becoming a physician assistant. The Pico Rivera resident plans to continue playing volleyball with a club or intramural team, a way for her to maintain her love for the sport while pursuing her degree.
When looking for motivation both in athletics and in life, Aguilar doesn’t need to look any further than two key females in her family.
“The most inspirational women that I’ve met would be my mom and my aunt,” says Aguilar. “They’re very hard working, and they are always encouraging me to do the best that I can so I can make something of myself.”