The Mills volleyball team opened their season at the Wildcat Invitational Tournament in Newburg, Oregon on August 29-30. For junior Alissa Chasten, this was a chance to reestablish herself as a team leader. Now in her third season for Mills as a middle blocker, Alissa played a huge role in assisting the team to a five-set win against St. Scholastica (Minnesota).
Although she was undersized compared to St. Scholastica’s blockers, she was undaunted, and used her quickness and deception to dominate at the net. Her efforts and courage were rewarded; she had a career match with 20 total kills and hitting on 35 attempts for her best percentage (.514), and had only two errors hitting for a .514 percentage. She also had two solo blocks.
“Alissa displayed her capability to be both a power and finesse on the court,” said head volleyball coach Daniel Rasay, who is looking forward to seeing her build on this performance.
The Mills volleyball team also won their annual Alumnae Match, where they competed against past Mills volleyball players last Friday. You can watch the team at home this Friday, Sept. 19, when they play the Academy of Art at 7 p.m.
Sometimes it all comes down to how much heart you have. For junior Perla Cantu, Saturday’s Mills Cross Country Invitational was all about heart. A co-captain of the team for the second year in a row, Perla has struggled with chronic tendonitis for almost two years – struggled so much that she was not cleared to run at all during last spring’s track season and this past summer’s training. She took the restriction in stride, deciding to cross train on the bike as much as she could, and in the meantime become a javelin thrower.
After almost a year of waiting, Perla was finally cleared to start running less than two weeks ago.
There were others on the team who were in better shape, had done better summer training, and had run faster this season, but Perla showed just how determined she could be when she placed third for the Cyclones Saturday with a time of 23:54.
The time was close to a minute faster than the time she ran at the same meet a year ago, when she had been running for weeks.
“There’s no physical explanation for why Perla ran so well on Saturday,” said head cross country coach Laura Davis. “She simply wanted it that badly, and she raced her heart out.”
Look for Perla and the Mills cross country team this Sunday at the Mills Alumnae Meet, where they will compete in a one mile race against Mills cross country alumnae. Immediately following the race, the team will do a car wash at the Haas Pavilion from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to raise funds for the Cross Country team.