Let the fun times begin!
Alisha Perez, a four-year member of the Deer Park volleyball team, has seen her fair share of in her first three years. While not competing for a Great Northern League championship this fall, the Lady Stags have beaten teams that never gave them a second thought in year’s past.
“At first, it was shocking,” said Perez on this year’s success, “but after a while yeah!”
Among those who fell this year was home-standing Cheney on Saturday.
The 5-foot-9 Perez, one of Deer Park’s main weapons at the net, said the Lady Stags’ win left some of the Blackhawks in tears.
On a more personal level, Perez can’t hide a smile when she talks about acing perennial GNL standout Jamie Weisner of Clarkston to win a game earlier this season.
Perez, was used to get ready for the upcoming volleyball seasons by playing over the summer, spent this off-season in Washington, D.C., job shadowing her grandmother, a Federal Aviation Administration employee, as part of her senior project.
Perez, who also spent time traveling along the East Coast, said she got in a few volleyball sessions at Georgetown University and at local YMCAs.
When she got back to Deer Park she noticed the ball didn’t hit the ground as much and volleys last longer in practice.
Perez, who began playing at Deer Park Middle School as a seventh grader, admitted that it took her a few weeks “to get into my grove” after spending most of the summer away from the gym.
In addition to trying to get into shape, those first couple of weeks also required her to get used to a new setter, sophomore Zoey Mohr.
The Lady Stags, under new coach Jack Wood, began with a couple of wins, including one over rival Riverside, which has dominated the series in recent years.
Perez, who gives away a couple of inches to most opponents on the opposite side of the net, tries to ignore the size disadvantage.
“I don’t look at how tall they are or how intimidating they are,” she said. “I’m more of a who-wants-it-more kind of player.”
Perez is not ready for the fun to stop at the end of the volleyball season.
A basketball player her first two years at DPHS, she sat out last season. She is now considering a return for her final season.
“I really missed it,” she admitted.
It may also give her a chance to extend the fun times a couple more months.