More than a few outstanding student athletes have graduated from Coast Union High School and moved on to have a positive impact at the college and university level of sports. Skyler Moon is a flawless example.
For the talented Moon — class of 2009 — the sky has always been the limit when it comes to her determination to shine in competition and academics as well. And yes, the obvious pun is dead center on target: Skyler aims for the stars but she has demonstrated the passion that at least lands a committed player in an orbit around the moon.
She made the most of her Coast Union career — playing volleyball, basketball and softball all four years and making every honor roll — and now that she has completed four years of college-level volleyball competition, she has come full circle.
Skyler’s volleyball career at Dominican California University at San Rafael ended in the fall of 2012, and while she continues her education — pointing towards a master’s degree in occupational therapy at Dominican — she is enjoying coaching volleyball for an 11-year-old girls club team in San Rafael.
She describes that coaching experience as “awesome.” Switching from being coached for eight years to wearing the hat of a coach is “kind of cool,” Skyler explained in a recent phone interview.
“I’ve never had to explain volleyball to other people, and I guess I didn’t realize how much I know about volleyball, but I really enjoy sharing my knowledge with young people. Plus I get paid, which is nice.”
What did she take from her Coast Union experience as far as team dynamics? “We were very close at Coast Union, all the players on the teams I was part of, we were one. At Cabrillo College we were also very close. At Dominican, we were supportive of each other but we each had our separate interests as well.”
In her two years as middle blocker at Cabrillo Community College in Santa Cruz her team enjoyed remarkable success. “We only lost one game in conference my sophomore year. We were No. 1 in conference, No. 1 in state and went to the state playoffs.”
As regards her awards at Coast Union, Skyler made “First Team All San Luis Obispo County” her senior year in volleyball. She got “Honorable Mention” on the “All San Luis Obispo County” softball team her senior year; she was also selected as “Coast Union Female Athlete of the Year” her senior year, which was the honor that she says meant the most to her.
“It was cool to know that I was recognized for playing three sports. People saw that and it meant a lot to me. I had many close friends and we had many good times.
“It actually made the school year go faster to be out for three sports. We are always going, going, going,” she commented. In fact the busy schedule she faced in high school helped her once she got to college. “I was definitely prepared for college, which calls for more commitment and didn’t allow much free time.
“I already knew what it was like to be a student athlete and have to balance school and athletics.”
In both her sophomore and freshman years at Cabrillo College, Moon was named to the “All Coast Conference” team, and she was ranked among the top 10 in blocking in the state.
In her junior year at Dominican, she was second on the team in blocked shots (34) and third on the team in kills (108). She was named to the Pacific West Conference Weekly Top 10 Honor Roll” in October 2011, for her 10-kill game at Chaminade. Moreover, she was named to the 2011-2012 Pacific West Conference All-Academic Team.
Now that Skyler has transitioned from player to coach, she finds joy coaching young players in the proper techniques of volleyball. All the things she has learned along the way — at CUHS, at Santa Cruz, and for the last two years at Dominican College — have given her the substance and maturity to be an effective coach.
Meanwhile, she is enjoying the fact that she doesn’t have to report for volleyball practice after class, which affords her more free time. “It’s nice,” she understates, “to be finished with practicing every day.” But as she progresses into her occupational therapy program, considered a difficult major, she’ll need those extra hours to keep up with her academics and her emerging coaching career.