Girls Volleyball ends season with heart and grit

Eva Travis leaps to spike a ball.

Gavin Zaengle, Sports Editor

On Oct. 4, the LBHS’ Girls Volleyball team faced off against the Huntington Beach Oilers in their final home game to celebrate the seniors. The Breakers finished with an admirable record of 16-19, as they played a few of the toughest high school volleyball teams in the country multiple times this season.

Unfortunately, they fell to the #7 ranked Oilers in three sets on Tuesday, falling out of playoff contention. Regardless, this team was always exhilarating anytime they stepped on the court. 

This season, game changers on the Breakers’ roster have helped this young team of underdogs pull away against tough competition. The Breakers had big wins against nationally ranked teams such as cross-town rival CDM, 47th-ranked JSerra and an impressive performance versus last year’s CIF champions, Aliso Niguel. 

Captain and senior libero Brooklyn Yelland piloted the team in both her experience and performance throughout the season. She leads the team in digs (330) and receptions (623), and seemingly picks up any ball that comes her way. Yelland is committed to Boston College’s D1 program next year. 

“Brooklyn is awesome. I look up to her on and off the court. She never fails to make me laugh and always comes up with a big play when we need it most,” said sophomore outside hitter Kyra Zaengle.

Perhaps the most electrifying aspect of this year’s team was their star outside hitter and transfer from Aliso Niguel High, senior Eva Travis. She leads the team in kills, kills per set and hitting percentage quite convincingly. Her potential to rocket the ball from anywhere on the court often left opposing defenses stunned and home crowds going bananas. Travis is committed to play D1 volleyball at UC Santa Barbara next fall, joining former Breaker Sophie Revis.

“Eva Travis has made a huge impact on the offense with her positive attitude and dedication to volleyball,” said senior setter Gracie Christian. “She has a strong arm and great serve receive/passing which makes her a trustworthy person on the court. Without her, our tough wins would probably be losses.”

Other than these two star-studded seniors, one young sophomore has shown she can hang at this level. Outside hitter Kyra Zaengle leads the team in aces and is second in digs, kills and receptions. She started as a freshman last year and cemented her spot as a key member of the team this year. Zaengle won the AAU Beach National Championship in 2021 and in 2022; she is one of the top beach volleyball players in the country in her age group.

“Although we fell short of our overall goals, I loved the grit and spirit this team fought with,” said head coach Sinan Tanik. “I’m very proud of these hard-working seniors, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for them all.”