As the semester comes to a close, three of our women’s volleyball players will be transferring to four-year colleges this fall where they’ll be continuing their volleyball careers.

Pin hitter Rayleen Rivera set a PCC record for most kills while once giving us a whopping 30 kills in a single match. As a sophomore, she averaged 3.52 kills per set and 2.44 digs. In her second season, libero Michelle Boyd led the SCC North Division with 275 digs while serving 42 aces in total. Last but not least, setter Hannah Clarke racked up a total of 651 assists in her entire volleyball career at PCC.

Clarke, Boyd, and Rivera all started playing volleyball at a young age. Clarke started when she was only 10 years old and played competitively since the eighth grade. Boyd got into the sport in sixth grade and continued to pursue it throughout high school. Rivera joined volleyball in high school.

Irma Carrillo/Courier
Starting outside hitter Rayleen Rivera goes for an attack against Chaffey College in the third set on Friday, Nov. 4 in the Hutto-Patterson Gym.

“Volleyball has always been apart of my life, not so prominent at first. My mom played volleyball in college and played in adult leagues throughout my early childhood. [She] even played until she was three months pregnant. It became my passion beginning of high school, that’s when I became serious,” Rivera said.

Rivera signed with NAIA Williams Woods University in Fulton, Missouri. To her, William Woods felt like home. The other girls on the team were exactly like her in terms of aggression and determination on the court, according to Rivera. It was far from home and somewhere Rivera saw herself growing on the court and as a person. She only had to visit once in April and she left knowing that was the university for her.

Irma Carrillo/Courier
Outside hitter Rayleen River (10) and middle blcoker Chyna Peeler (11) go for a block against the Huskies attack on Friday, Nov. 11 at East Los Angeles College.

“I’m super excited [to move schools and teams]. I can’t wait to compete with the next level girls who will make me better. That’s my favorite part of volleyball, learning what works with a new team and learning how we will win, to grow strong and to be mentally connected when playing some of the hardest teams,” Rivera said.

As for Clarke, she scored a scholarship with NAIA Pacific Union College in Angwin, California. It is part of the Northern San Francisco Bay area. She was devastated to leave PCC’s volleyball team yet excited to join a new one.

“My teammates have become my family, I can’t imagine the kick in the stomach next season when reality kicks in that I am no longer playing for such an amazing program,” Clarke said. “Mike and Albert have been amazing coaches. I learned so much from them. The adjustment to a new city and location are making me anxious, but I am willing to to take on the challenge.”

Clarke will be leaving to her new home in August, which will leave her some time to settle in before they start conditioning for volleyball and start the fall quarter.

Boyd has decided to stay close to home as she will be walking on the volleyball team for Cal State Los Angeles. She chose this path because it’s local and everyone was extremely welcoming when she visited the campus.

“It’s kind of a bittersweet feeling to leave PCC. My teammates and coaches have become my second family and I am going to miss being on the court with them all, but I am also very excited to see what is in store for me at CSULA,” Boyd said.

Although Boyd is leaving her old team behind, she is excited to embrace the changes and eager to experience playing at a higher level. In spite of that, Boyd could never forget the impact PCC’s volleyball team made on her.

Irma Carrillo/Courier
Libero Michelle Boyd goes for a dig against the Huskies on Friday, Nov. 11 at East Los Angeles College.

“The team helped me to develop not only as a player, but an individual off the court. Looking back at when I first started at PCC to now, I have developed and learned more than I could have ever imagined,” Boyd said.

Being a student athlete never looks to be easy and something all three girls agreed on was that it never was. Juggling homework, a social life, and long, tiring practices definitely took a toll on the women. Clarke describes her life as an endless cycle; going from class to practice then home to go to sleep, then repeat everything the next day. This taught her discipline. Despite the challenges that come with being a student athlete, each took a little away from the experiences they made at PCC.

“Playing for PCC made me realize how playing for a college is a job but it gave me the best experience I’ve had with this sport. My academic and athletic career have been a blessing at this campus. I feel privileged to be working with amazing coaches and wonderful teammates,” Clarke said.

Not only did the girls get to play a sport they loved, but they got to meet people who love it just as much as they do and create new friendships in the process.

“Having the support of my friends, teammates, coaches, and family helped a ton, and my passion for the sport made it all worth it,” Boyd said. “Playing for PCC is something that I am so grateful I had the opportunity of doing because I met so many amazing people along the way.”

It’s been a successful two years for these women. From setting PCC records, to being statistical leaders for the CCCAA. Now it’s time for these accomplished student athletes to move onto their new schools and teams.

“The success of our program is built upon players developing in the classroom, on the court, as people and seeing them transfer to four-year schools,” head coach Mike Terrell said. “Hannah, Michelle and Raye have earned these opportunities because of their hard work and volleyball talent but more importantly, they are young are women with great character. We’re so happy to see them continue their playing careers. We are so proud.”

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