The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Ben Kanches

Peyton O’Brien

Peyton O’Brien was a member of the varsity volleyball team this fall as the starting setter. O’Brien took up volleyball in fourth grade and has continued competing since then. She also participates for Sky High Volleyball Club, which practices three days a week for three hours each. The LHS girls varsity volleyball team practices every day after school for three hours as well.

“[O’Brien has] been playing volleyball a long time, and so I think she’s got the physical skills and stature to compete with the upper level girls and some of the volleyball IQ prerequisites. I think she fits into the role and speed that varsity volleyball is conducted,” said Mr. Greg Loika, the girls varsity volleyball coach.

While she loves playing volleyball, it’s tough to incorporate other things into her daily life: “[I’ve missed] time hanging out with my friends… I had to come back a few days early from spring break and stuff to go to a tournament, too.”

Although keeping up with her schedule is challenging at times, O’Brien has really benefitted from being a part of these teams. “Before I started playing, I was more of the shy type and through volleyball, you’re taught to be really loud on the court and so through being on a new team, I just started over again and was more outgoing and that transformed off the court too, so I’m more outgoing at school and with my friends,” she said.

In addition to her exceptional volleyball skills, Mr. Loika shared that O’Brien is also an excellent teammate: “She brings youthful energy … a lot of enthusiasm [and is] not super nervous yet about being an upperclassman and get[ting] psyched out from the contest and the gravity of what you’re doing,” explained Mr. Loika.

Kellie Hopper is the other freshman on varsity volleyball, along with O’Brien.

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