CU champion wraps up a college championship It’s been two years since Skyler
Moon’s considerable volleyball skills helped propel the Coast Union varsity team to a 15-10 season and a thrilling 3-2 victory at archrival Mission Prep in the 2008 playoffs that no one who made the 33-mile trek from Cambria will ever forget.
As if that Bronco glory wasn’t enough, Moon was also a pivotal player on Coast Union’s varsity basketball team that notched a clutch 44-42 victory in the nail-biting Central Section championship game at Fresno Christian March 6, 2009. And as a senior softball player for the Broncos she pitched her team to an wild, awe-inspiring late-inning win over nemesis Mission Prep in the last game of an otherwise so-so season. She was a rare three-sport athlete, and a sparkling one at that.
Fast-forward to November 2010 and, once again, the talented 6-0 Moon is on the cutting edge of championship volleyball. This time her role is middle blocker for the Cabrillo College Seahawks in Santa Cruz. Moon and her teammates are 23-0 overall and winners of the Coast Conference with a 10-0 league record.
In fact, the Seahawks are the No. 1 ranked community college volleyball team in California. On Friday, Nov. 5, the Seahawks wrapped up the conference championship, defeating Hartnell College 3-0, with Moon slamming down eight kills and contributing three blocks. On Nov. 3, Moon racked up 13 kills and four blocks against Gavilan.
According toMoon’s coach, Gabby Houston, Skyler is “key to our defense. She is definitely one of the best middies in the northern region.”
When Moon tried out for the Cabrillo team right out of Coast Union, Houston recalls that she was “a little shy and one of the sweetest, nicest players I have ever metand these traits do not always coincide with competitiveness.”
However, the coach continued, “as a sophomore she has grown to be a more aggressive player,” and although “she is still very sweetand nice off the court, she can really block and put the ball away on the court. We are very lucky to have Skyler.”
In an interview with The Cambrian, the pony-tailed, affable Moon reflected on her initial freshman volleyball experience at Cabrillo. “I remember being so nervous and anxious at the same timeand when I finally decided to play I didn’t know what to expect and was very scared. But once I started playing I realized that I fit in just fine and adjusted very easily.”
As far as the level of play at Cabrillo, “It is definitely more intense and a higher level of play, but playing against good volleyball players definitely helps me to step up to my potential,”Moon explained.
She also found out that there were no guarantees in her sophomore year. “I definitely had some competition and had to keep up my hardwork if I was planning on keeping my starting spot as a middle blocker,” which of course she did.
Coach Houston said that “any volleyball coach” loves to have a 6-foot middle blocker on the team, but in Moon she saw someone “with the right attitude” who had “the drive to improve.”
Dennis White, assistant varsity volleyball coach at Coast Union, saw those same attributes in Moon in 2008. “One of her most obvious traits is her size and power(but) size and power are no good unless (the athlete) is trainable. Every day she came to practice ready to give it all and she was very trainable with a wonderful disposition.”
White added, “She handled herself with great poise and especially under fire. Probably one of the best traits is how steady she was in every situation.”
Mackenzie Cunningham was Moon’s prolific teammate on the 2009 championship basketball team—and the MVP of that talented squad.
Cunningham told The Cambrian that Moon “played really aggressively under the basket and was not at all afraid of knocking people around. Shemade playing fun, winning or losing, and I’ll never forget her ability to make anyone laugh at any time, including our coach.”
“I LOVED playing with Sky,” Cunningham added.
What advice does Moon offer to graduating student-athletes from Coast Union who might be thinking about trying out for sports?
“You can do it, don’t be scared. Although everything (in college) will be nerve-racking at first, it gets better, trust me.”
Someone with “Moon” as a last name and whose nickname is “Sky” is certainly at risk for a reporter claiming her volleyball abilities are “cosmic” or “out of this world.” But we’ll eschew that for the time being and let Moon have the last word of advice to CUHS students: “If you love a sport, then you should play because you will never regret it. It takes a lot of hard work but it all pays off and the feeling you get is great.”
Top-seeded lady spikers host playoff tilt Nov. 11
The Coast Union High School varsity volleyball team is sitting pretty when it comes to the opening of the CIF Southern Section playoff season.
When you win your league, as the Broncos did with an unblemished 12-0 wonloss record in the Coast Valley Volleyball league, you get a “bye” inthe first round, which the lady spikers had for the first round games Tuesday, Nov. 9.
And because they won their league, and are the No. 1 seed in the tournament, they open at home Thursday, Nov. 11, against the winner of the game between Hillcrest Christian and AGBU/CP, a school in Fontana. Game time was not available at press time.
Assistant varsity coach Dennis White said that “We are looking good not having to play any better than a No. 4 seed in our first two games.”
A second Coast Union playoff game likely will be played Saturday, Nov. 13, and that should also be on the Broncos home court.
Footbal lBroncos show heartdespite gridiron defeatOn a chilly, damp, foggy evening,all 14 members of the Broncos varsityfootball team gave everythingthey had against a talented teamfrom Tranquillity. Everything theyhadwasn’t enough to beat theTranquillity Tigers—Coast Unionlost 29-15—but the effort put outwas however enough to make animpact on the Tigers’ head coachLyndell Hawkins.On his way out of the CoastUnion stadium, Hawkins stoppedto tell one of the players’ parentsthat he was “very, very impressed”with the effort CoastUnion’s players put out against his25 varsity players.He said he cringes when hegoes up against a team with barelyenough players to make a team,having had that experience as acoach from a small school.Hawkins commented that he sawa lot of “heart” displayed by theBroncos, as the hometown teambattled and had chances to closethe gap but just didn’t hit the rightbuttons at the right moments.And while the Tigers prettymuch prevented the Broncos fromgetting a ground game going—Coast Union mustered just 121rushing yards—Andy Gordondid break loose on one of hispatented long runs.With his team on the brink ofbeing blown out in the third quarter,Gordon took a handoff fromquarterback Omar Catalan at theTiger 49-yard line, did a couplequick stutter steps to keep the aggressivedefense off him, and tookoff at top speed.No he didn’t leap tall buildingsor cure cancer, but no one wasable to get to him as he crossedthe finish line unhindered. Andmoreover, his relatives fromWashington State—who hadbeen listening to his games viaKTEA-FMstreaming on the Internet—were on hand to witnessthe exhilarating TD run.The other touchdown scored bythe Broncos was courtesy of asmart, stylish first quarter play byCatalan. The swift senior rolledout to the left as though to throw,saw daylight and just kicked it intoanother gear and hightailed it topay dirt from 12 yards out.A gutsy defensive effort was ledby Connor Cunningham, SamRivera, Harper Resewher, MattSanford, Gordon, Catalan—andvirtually every Bronco playerchipped in.The Broncos record is 3-6 overalland 2-1 in league play as theymakea long pilgrimage over to OrangeCove Wednesday, Nov. 10, to playthe Titans, also 2-1 in league play.The game is heard on KTEA-FM103.5 at 7 p.m.; it streams onwww.ktea-fm.com and is heard oniPhones and Blackberrys.— John FitzRandolph, special toThe Cambrian