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Common Sense

The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

Sophomore Nishikaa Poona reflects on lessons learned throughout volleyball career

Sophomore+Nishikaa+Poona+embraces+her+teammates+at+a+game+vs.+Urbana+on+Oct.+18.
Photo by Erik Kleinbussink
Sophomore Nishikaa Poona embraces her teammates at a game vs. Urbana on Oct. 18.

The high tension and excitement, added to the screaming from the bleachers and the skidding of knee pads across the court is what sophomore Nishikaa Poona would describe as the regular atmosphere for a volleyball match. Adorned with jersey #16, Poona was a middle blocker for the school’s junior varsity volleyball team, with October marking the end of the season. Out of the six main volleyball positions, middle blockers tackle both defensive and offensive hits from the other team.

Outside of school, Poona plays for the Maryland Exclusive Volleyball Club (MEVC) and has been playing for the club for the past three years. Poona initially started playing volleyball after attending a clinic. “I started seeing a lot of volleyball online and so I asked my mom if I could try just one clinic to see if I’d like it or not. When I went to that clinic, everything just kind of clicked,” Poona said.

For any athlete, completing schoolwork in addition to managing daily school practices and outside club practices can be challenging. Yet, Poona still manages to achieve good grades and strives at volleyball. She gives credit to time management and organization. “Usually I’d stay after school until practice at 4 p.m. and finish as much homework as possible. Then, I would get home around 6:30 p.m. and finish the rest of my homework. Sometimes it required a few late nights but in the end, it’s worth it,” Poona said.

What makes volleyball most rewarding according to Poona is the team bonding. In addition to the physical and mental skills developed through volleyball, team building is one of the most crucial lessons Poona has learned. “Volleyball is a team sport and you need to be able to communicate with your team. Perseverance and communication are really important,” Poona said.

Former teammate on the JV team and freshman Ava Wang describes Poona as “super nice” and “understanding and forgiving.”

Freshman Hannah Liu, another former teammate of Poona, shares a similar sentiment. “She’s level-headed and has a calm presence. Overall, she’s a good teammate,” Liu said.

Participating in sports can immensely impact an individual’s life by molding their values and beliefs. Poona states that her morals have been shaped significantly through volleyball and that as a person she has grown greatly as a person. “I definitely would not be the same person if I hadn’t done volleyball. I used to be really shy; that was my personality before I started playing. Honestly, I wouldn’t have the same confidence I have today without it. Volleyball taught me communication skills and helped me make a ton of new friends,” Poona said.

In her free time aside from volleyball and academics, Poona enjoys singing, creating music, classical Indian dancing, and drawing. “I’m in a couple of after-school clubs, like DECA and Model UN. I’m currently working on making my own organization as well,” Poona said.

Even after high school, Poona wants to continue to play the sport. “I don’t think I’d want to play super professionally but it’s definitely one of my favorite hobbies and something that I really enjoy. I’d probably join other leagues when I’m older,” Poona said.

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About the Contributor
Pragna Pothakamuri, staff writer
Sophomore Pragna Pothakamuri is a staff writer in her first year on the Common Sense staff. In her free time, she enjoys writing, listening to music, and spending time with friends and family. You can reach out to her at [email protected].
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