The Value of the Volleyball

By Devica Shah

"The Value of the Volleyball" is a story that unpacks the ins and outs of the 2023-2024 Lakewood Montessori Volleyball Team. Coach Ro and Assistant Coach K lead the team with the values of family, improvement, dedication, vulnerability, and fun. They strive to build the "whole athlete" through volleyball. They teach the girls order and discipline, along with drive and motivation-important skills that the girls can apply to other parts of their life. The girls lift each other up by cheering the team on in practice and during games. Amongst the team, the one eighth grader, Ellie, brings the spirit to the team. She vibrates her loving energy through her cheers, but on the court she comes to play. This is the story of the most uplifting, caring volleyball team that a middle school has ever seen. The girls are not just players, but sisters.

I want to thank Coach Ro and Coach K for bringing the warmest welcome to their team. They invited me into the community as one of their own. I also want to thank all the girls for allowing me to photograph them throughout the year. It was such a delight to be a part of this team.