Some volleyball fans attending Coast Union’s games this past season may not have known the name of the self-assured player with the long ponytail whose serve incorporated a hustle from the edge of the court to the line, a jump, and a fiery, midair pummeling of the ball.
Many of her serves — which flew across the net with wicked movement — were simply too tough for Coast opponents to handle. Add to that proficiency her tenacious defense, and she carried her weight as a crucial component of the line of attack taught by head coach Pam Kenyon.
That player is senior Janelle Bohey, whose skill, spirit, verve, and all-around team play earned her Coast Union’s Most Valuable Player award for the 10-0 Coast Valley League champions, who also won a second round CIF Division 5AA playoff match against Calvary Murietta.
Bohey, who led the team with 10 kills in that playoff victory, said one of the main strengths of the 2015 team was “persistence.”
“We weren’t very tall but we were determined to get that dig and to play smart,” she said in an interview Saturday, Dec. 12.
Commenting on her dogged determination to produce hard-to-handle serves, she explained: “Topspin makes it drop faster, or you can make it float.” Before this season, she said, she “wasn’t doing any jump serving. But by the end of preseason, I began practicing it; but I didn’t get good at it until about the middle of league play.”
Kenyon encouraged her to work on that serve, and for Bohey, “P.K. also showed her leadership by teaching us how to rally everyone together and how to support one another. We have so much respect for her that we always try our hardest in everything we do. And when we mess up, we always look to her, and she’ll give us advice on how to fix it.”
When Bohey heard her coach reveal that her cancer had returned, she said, “It broke my heart because she fought so hard and she overcame it. That joy we saw in her, ‘Like wow, I actually did that,’ and then there was that crushing moment of, ‘It’s back.’ We’d love to see her prevail.”
Bohey began her Cambria sports career playing Cambria Youth Athletic Association games — T-Ball, Coach-Pitch, basketball — and she was good enough at baseball to play Little League.
“It was definitely fun,” she said. “My friends influenced me a lot to continue in sports throughout middle school.”
Bohey played volleyball in sixth and eighth grades, but skipped seventh. Asked why, she laughed, “I wasn’t good at all, plus school seemed a lot more challenging to me then. There was a block schedule and a lot more homework.”
At Coast Union, while she enjoyed playing softball, volleyball was more important to her, so she played club volleyball after the high school season during her freshman and sophomore years.
“Club volleyball had a huge impact on me,” she said. “learned a lot. It’s more intense, it seems like there’s a lot more on the line; those girls are driven, and they push you to get better.”
Bohey did play softball her junior year — at the challenging catcher position — but is not certain she will go out for softball her senior year because the idea of learning sign language techniques at Cuesta College, which gained her interest when she took courses at Cuesta last summer, may trump softball.
Why sign language?
“I had a lot of fun with it,” Bohey said. “I worked with a couple of individuals who are deaf. It was really interesting and fun.”
Following high school Bohey plans to attend a four-year school in California, possibly a private school like Pepperdine in Malibu.
“I’m not a big fan of cities, especially big cities,” but Pepperdine has the business classes she might want to take, and the ocean isn’t far.
She is considering a major in business management, economics and accounting, but learning languages has great appeal to her. Besides the sign language classes, she has taken four years of Spanish and is taking French at Coast Union.
Whatever her future holds, her MVP award speaks volumes in any language.
This report is special to The Cambrian.
Athletic awards roll in
The athletic awards for the fall sports continued to be announced this week as coaches from the football and volleyball programs made their selections.
▪ Head football coach and Athletic Director Thom Holt gave lineman Octavio Villalvazo the Coach’s Award; running back Alam Ramirez was named Offensive MVP, and Lane Sutherland was chosen as Defensive MVP. Riley Kennedy was named Most Improved Bronco football player.
▪ In volleyball, the Coach’s Award went to Xue DiMaggio; the Most Valuable Player award went to Janelle Bohey; and the Most Improved award went to Diana Cisneros.
▪ Crystal Martinez won the Coach’s Award for the junior varsity volleyball team; and Ailyn Casas was named MVP of the JV team.