Volleyball Highlights

2023 HCS Boys Varsity A National Team
2023 HCS Girls Varsity A National Team

Heritage Christian School Volleyball Shines at The 2023 National Christian Homeschool Volleyball Tournament

We are excited to share some inspiring stories and experiences from our Heritage Christian School students who recently participated in The National Christian Homeschool Volleyball Tournament in Kansas. Our Varsity A boys and girls teams gave it their all and made us proud with their performances.

Meet the Players
We interviewed a few of our student-athletes to gain insights into their journey at the tournament:

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Kaitlyn Cooper shared, "Nationals were a lot of fun and although we didn't win we played well and the competition was stiff. but that being said we had some of our best moments and we had a lot of amazing takeaways! My favorite part was the competitive difficulty they really challenged us. The games were all really close and super exciting."

Isabela Guerrero remarked, "The thing we learned the most was how to really work together as a team and how to control our emotions. It was a great lesson in focusing on the positive and working on growing our communication. Since we have been home it's obvious that our communication has greatly improved. I've learned a lot of lessons through the opportunity of going to nationals that I will take throughout life. I hope we continue to allow the teams that come after us to have this experience at nationals."

Christian Bias said, "We played the little rock flames, they were very good, last year they were top five. Our setter Gabriel and back up setter Caleb unfortunately were out with ankle injuries so I had the opportunity to set as a middle. We went into it being unsure of how it would play out but we came out pretty strong taking second in the bronze so overall I feel like we did really well for having injuries. The experience of being there with the team competing was such a great bonding experience."

Nico Lundgren added, "We played very well with cards we were dealt and it was so much fun. We had the opportunity to learn how to adapt to difficult situations. I appreciated the opportunity to travel and see what it feels like to potentially play in a club or college and I think others who haven't had that opportunity will appreciate that. "

Jobe Braga shared, "We went in with a good game plan, very focused, very determined. Lots of hard matchups and injuries too but overall it was a fantastic time and we played well. It was challenging and played against really talented teams who gave us a great game. We lost a few and won quite a few. Great match ups, great competition. During our devotions we learned that even through trials and hardships, such as our injuries, to work together as a team. Varsity B has great players with great potential, give them a couple years and I think we have a real shot of taking gold back from nationals."

Riley Burdett mentioned, "Nationals was the first opportunity to travel for a tournament like that so spending time with my team for five days and the competition was good so it was a great experience. We all learned great endurance and to keep our heads up our coach has been very helpful in instilling that. We really learned to remain optimistic and play for God."

The 2023 National Christian Homeschool Volleyball Tournament

The National Christian Homeschool Volleyball Tournament is a prestigious event that brings together homeschooling teams from all over the country. This year, our Varsity A boys and girls teams represented Heritage Christian School with pride.

The boys' team showcased their skills and determination, earning Second place in the Bronze division. It was a remarkable achievement that reflects their hard work and commitment.

While the girls' team didn't place this year, their dedication and sportsmanship were truly commendable. They played with passion and spirit, embodying the values of Heritage Christian School.

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Team Building and Memories

Apart from the fierce competition, our students also enjoyed team-building activities and created lasting memories. These experiences reinforced the importance of unity, friendship, and support on and off the court.

The tournament not only tested their athletic abilities but also their character, resilience, and faith. It was a journey filled with valuable life lessons that will stay with them forever.

We are incredibly proud of our Heritage Christian School volleyball teams for their outstanding performances and their commitment to representing our school with honor and integrity. These experiences go beyond the scores and trophies; they shape our students into well-rounded individuals who embody the values of our community.

Thank you for your continued support, and stay tuned for more updates on our incredible journey.

Ciara Thomas, Proud Heritage Christian School Parent

boys volleyball team

2022 HCS Boys Varsity Nationals Team

(Kansas City, MO) The Boys Varsity A Team is back from their exciting weekend at the National Christian Homeschool Volleyball Tournament in New Century, Kansas City. Last year was their first year, and they took third place. The boy's team was excited about another opportunity to participate.

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On Friday, they played against three other teams. Two sets against each team. The first team was the FEAST Patriots. HCS beat them in both sets. The second team they played was Storm (AHAA), and they tied them, so a tiebreaker game of "head-to-head points" was played. It was a tight game, but the win went to the other team, and HCS went to the copper Bracket. Last, HCS played OKC, and lost to them in both sets.

Saturday, HCS was the first seed in the copper bracket. They played three games. The first game was against SWLA Nights, and HCS won both sets. That advanced them to the next round to play against the Cougars, and HCS won. Their final game was against the Omaha Lightning in the championship game, and HCS lost.

Everyone played well, and it was bittersweet for the two seniors on the team.

Cameron, Joshua, Nathan, Ezekiel, Shadrak, Soren, and Jake had an excellent opportunity to bond over delicious meals at KC BBQ and Cracker Barrel. They stretched their gaming muscles at the "Main Event," similar to Dave n Buster's in California, where they enjoyed a game of pool and bowling. The weekend was complete once they visited the local Bass Pro Shop and played a game of sand volleyball before heading back home.

2023 HCS JV Volleyball girls team

Mustang Volleyball In the Eyes of A New Kid On the Block

As we embark on this exciting volleyball season at Heritage Christian School, we want to take a moment to reflect on the incredible journey our daughter, Rylee Thomas, has had as a new student and athlete in the HCS volleyball program. We hope that by sharing our experiences, you'll be inspired to consider these enriching extracurricular activities for your own children.

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**Building Community Through Sports** One of the fundamental concerns for many homeschooling parents is ensuring their children receive the support and socialization that comes with being part of a vibrant community. We are immensely grateful that Heritage Christian School provides programs like volleyball, allowing our students to develop friendships and athletic skills simultaneously. Group sports are not just a physical activity; they are an essential aspect of a child's growth and development.

**Nurturing Christian-Like Friendships and Sportsmanship** What warms our hearts most is witnessing the Christian-like friendships and sportsmanship that Rylee and her teammates are cultivating on and off the court. As parents, we take immense pride in the growth we see in our daughter. She's learning to make new friends, mastering a new skill, and becoming a leader while building her confidence and that of her teammates. It's a testament to the nurturing environment here at Heritage Christian School.

**Meet the Heritage Christian Mustangs** Our volleyball program boasts a wide range of teams, from Freshman to JV and Varsity for both girls and boys. This year, the Heritage Christian Mustangs are ready to shine! Our athletes are dedicated to training every Tuesday and Wednesday, honing their skills to perform at their best. They also have exciting opportunities to compete all over Southern California every Saturday, showcasing their talents and determination.

**Inspirational Coaches** Behind every successful team are exceptional coaches. At Heritage Christian School, we are fortunate to have coaches who dedicate their time and effort to guide and mentor our children. These coaches are not just instructors; they are trusted Christian adults outside our household who provide wisdom, encouragement, and a positive influence on our children. Their role is pivotal in our children's development.

**Q&A with Rylee Thomas**We asked our Rylee Thomas about her experience with the Heritage Christian Mustangs, and here's what she had to say:

How has playing volleyball at Heritage Christian School impacted you? "Being part of the volleyball team has helped me make amazing friends and learn how to work together as a team. I've become more confident, both on and off the court."

What do you enjoy most about your coaches?"My coach is also my teacher so I am blessed to see and spend lots of time with her. She is a very special person and I love that she really cares about us.”

Why would you recommend volleyball or other sports to your fellow students?"Sports help us grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. It's a great way to build character, make friends, and have fun while representing our school."

We hope you enjoyed this glimpse into Rylee’s and the Thomas families journey with the Heritage Christian Mustangs. We encourage you to consider the incredible benefits of sports and extracurricular activities for your children. Heritage Christian School is not just a place of learning but a community that fosters growth, friendships, and spiritual development. Thank you for being part of this wonderful community.

Ciara Thomas, Proud Heritage Christian School Parent

Boys Volleyball Team

2021 Boys Mustangs Gallop to win Back to Back Championships!

(Irvine, CA) For the second year in a row, the Heritage Christian Mustangs Boys Varsity Volleyball Team dominated in the California State Tournament going undefeated and was crowned 2021 CHSS Champions. After a successful run in Kansas City, falling only 2 points short of competing in finals for the National Championship, the Mustangs came to the California Tournament 2 weeks later as heavy favorites – and the Mustangs did not disappoint.

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After routing all of their competition at the morning pool play, our HCS 18U team confirmed their top seed status by achieving an afternoon bye at playoff bracket play. In second round play, they again soundly defeated the Christian Heritage Knights (Norco area) being led by the “Irresistible Forces” of the Hedgecock brothers (Jake and Jordan) and “Immovable Objects” middle play of Shadrach Salazar and Jake Ryan. With Jake H. strategically placing distributing sets to all attack positions, the crowd ooh’d to the thunderous spikes of Jordan and the quick hammers from both Shad and Jake R.

The Mustangs then waited for the likely rematch with their top nemesis – the West Coast “Ikaika” team who was the tournaments 2nd seed. However, instead it was the West Coast “Eclipse” team that went on to the finals. WC Eclipse beat the WC Ikaika for the first time of the season winning a hard fought tie-breaker game to upset Ikaika 2-1 in semi-finals play. So the finals was set – the powerful HCS Mustangs of San Diego versus the scrappy WC Eclipse of Sacramento.

Power won over as the Mustangs completed their domination winning both games to become the CHSS California State 2021 Champions! The Mustangs closed the season only losing one match in the entire season, and that was in the National’s. This may have been the best HCS Mustang Boys’ Varsity season ever guided by the savvy strategic brilliance of Coach Joseph Quileza and the inspirational support of coach Ferdie Hembrador.

In addition to the all-tournament play of Jake Hedgecock (our only senior player), Jake Ryan, Jordan Hedgecock, and Shad Salazar, the production of Caleb Discar, Caleb Nutting, Josh Hembrador, and Gabriel Guzman was also recognized for their solid performances. The all-out efforts by the back row led by Mustang Libero Caleb Nutting and last year’s Libero Caleb Discar (who also had monster spikes as the other outside hitter), as well as poundings by Opposite Hitter starter Gabriel Guzman. With gung-ho mindset, Josh help lead the team in the early pool rounds. The team could not achieve this dominant play without physicality Ezekiel Vannoy blocks and hits, the opposite hitting and back row “going all-out” contributions by Ethan Alm, and the continued development of Cameron Linstad who ended the tournament with one of the biggest booming spikes of the tournament.

Girls Volleyball Team

2021 Girls Mustangs Third Straight California Champions!

The HCS Mustang girls’ varsity A team did a fantastic job in the tournament on November 13th, taking the championships for the third year in a row! There were two rounds. The first round each game was only one set. One chance to pull it together. The team played six of those games. The second and final round games were best two out of three sets. There were three of those games. Under the experienced and dependable guidance of Coach Bill and Assistant Priscilla, the Mustangs went into the first round confident and winning, only to get checked in the second game by the Legacy team. Team consensus was that it wasn’t due to Legacy being superior in skill, but due to their own numerous and sundry errors. They put it behind them and pulled it back together to make the loss against Legacy their last.

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Our Seniors: Malia #12 was our solid and dependable Defense Specialist. We missed her during the finals, but we thank her for all her help to get us there! Chelsea #36 is our amazing setter who picks up a lot of trash and puts it into a usable play. Christianna #42 is an outside hitter who can also serve some mean ones. Lauren #27 has newly joined the team this year and serves us well as a middle with a smile that’s as wide as her arms are high. Savannah #25 is also a newcomer and middle whose aggressive blocking saves the back row a lot of grief! Aleah #38 is our all around player, opposite, and outside whose versatility is a great strength.

In the finals, Alana (#42) did a phenomenal job with 16 ace serves, Chelsea with 6 against the Falcons, soundly defeating them 25-12 and 25-10. Christianna and Libero, Joanna (#51) seemed to be competing for most passes against Spirit with team setter Chelsea raking in 4 kills and 2 blocks for a win of 25-12 and 25-20.

Exhausted from eight games played (we missed you, Katie Van Bibber! (#22), Mustangs pulled off a beautiful, but intense victory against Legacy, with the second set being a loss. Check out the scores: 25-18, 17-25, and 15-12.

In the first two sets of the championship game, Joanna had 19 beautiful passes, Maggie (#20) crushed 6 and Christianna 4 kills, whilst Chelsea blocked 3 and the winning block by Savannah wrapped up the intense 3rd set and the win of 15-12.

The second set of the championship against Legacy showed how much spirit can make a difference in performance. The Legacy team started out with wild cheering on their side for every success, their boys team joining into the cheerleading, and they ended up with the win of the second set ,17-25. This was a bit intimidating for us when we had just won without too much effort. However, a favorite memory of every Mustang team member was our incredible fans stepping up the spirit in a big way! It really made a difference for us. They surrounded the court from one side to the other joining in a cheering war. This really re-energize the team!

The concerned coaches were so busy watching and coaching the intense third set that stats understandably fell to the wayside. Christianna remembers a kill she savored; Addie (#5) remembers a game ball dropped between four players when the setter got the first ball. Maggie’s pep talks to the team were at least consistent (inside joke). Katie Nutting #19 (forced to watch while recovering from earlier season injuries) loved watching Maggie’s pipe hits that were on fire. Everyone’s favorite play was Savannah’s winning block that caused the stands to run out and surround the team with wild celebration and brought strong emotions of relief and joy for team and coaches alike! As Savannah says, “That game was the best way to end the season!” We will miss each of you seniors next year!

Great teamwork and perseverance, Ladies! Superb guidance and orchestration of the season, Coaches! Powerful encouragement, HCS fans, and parents! You all made a huge difference! And thanks be to God for each and every one of the abilities He has given to us. May we all give Him the glory He deserves for all His provision, enabling, safety, and lovingkindness enjoyed by each of us to participate in this fun event!

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