Acing the tests on and off the court

The WCPA Lost Hills Girls Volleyball team are league and academic champions

Before Romie’s freshman year in high school, she’d never even played volleyball.

“Personally, I was never really interested in volleyball prior to coming to this school,” Romie said. “But when I tried out and made the team, I found out I really enjoyed it.”

Fast-forward to her senior year, and her team is the league champion.

“We all wanted to prove we can excel in school and in volleyball,” said fellow senior and team setter, Carmina. “We know how important it is to be an athlete, but being a student is the number one priority.”

Wonderful College Prep Academy (WCPA) Lost Hills was founded in 2017 by The Wonderful Company’s co-founders, Lynda and Stewart Resnick, and will have its first graduating class of seniors in spring 2024, which makes the volleyball team’s accomplishments even more incredible.

Their path to league champions was far from a straight line. One year earlier, the team, though competitive, did not have championship aspirations, and the lack of 12th graders was a clear disadvantage. “We were good, but we didn’t have any senior players yet, so that affected us a lot,” said Romie.

This year was different, and after their first match against the reigning league champions, the players knew it.

“When we beat Kings Christian, it was very eye-opening. Last year, there were so many things we couldn’t do,” said Carmina. “This year, we beat the number one team and felt we could keep going forward.”

The team would go on to win their next 11 matches.

“At the beginning of the season, I told the team this is our year,” said head coach and WCPA Lost Hills assistant principal, Daniel Rizo. “We were going to strive for the league championship. All the girls bought in.”

Not only did the team win the East Sierra League championship, but also Romie was named MVP and Rizo was named East Sierra League Volleyball Coach of the Year. What impressed Rizo as much as his team’s performance on the court was their effort in the classroom.

We offered half practice, half study hall, but the girls didn’t need that. They were crushing their academics on their own.

Daniel Rizo

Principal, WCPA

Rizo attributes much of their success to the community around them. “The tutors, the teachers on campus... the girls were great at utilizing all the available resources.”

All that hard work in the classroom paid off and then some. With a combined GPA of 3.99, the team achieved the highest GPA out of an astonishing 130 teams in the league.

With high school volleyball behind them, the seniors have now turned their attention toward college. Carmina is hoping to be premed and eventually become a surgeon. Romie has her sights set on a law degree. “Eventually, I want to become a family lawyer to help people in need,” she said.  

No matter what their futures hold, they are certainly bright.

“Even if our paths don’t go where we want, there’s always different paths in life,” said Carmina. “They’ll get us to where we want to be.”

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