By Ray Hamill — College of the Redwoods added a couple of Big 5 MVPs this week, with the news that both Maya Mircetich and Olivia Alves will play volleyball at the local community college in the fall.
Mircetich is coming off an outstanding season playing at Arcata High, where she was named conference MVP after leading the Tigers to an undefeated league championship.
“Obviously that’s a big one for us,” a delighted CR head coach Petra Lorenzi said.
So too is the addition of Alves, an outstanding athlete who was a Big 5 MVP in softball last spring after leading the McKinleyville Panthers to an historic first-ever Big 5, H-DNL tournament and NCS treble of titles.
Alves, who also starred for the Panthers on the volleyball court, graduated in 2019 and was an assistant coach with the Mack volleyball team this past season.
After participating in CR’s beach volleyball program this year, she has decided to play in the fall.
“Beach-wise, she thrived,” Lorenzi said. “She’s a competitive girl and she’s a great teammate, which in the sport of volleyball is really important.”
The two new local recruits will join a returning quartet of Kaylin Campbell, Paula Mello, Sarah Malone and Lexi Goodman on a squad that will be expected to come out of the starting gates stronger than recent CR teams.
Mircetich, who at 17 is still young for a senior, is seen as a player with a big upside, although she will be expected to slot right in.
“She has a high ceiling. She’s young for her grade,” Lorenzi said. “And she’s going to provide us some power on the outside.
“She’s a great kid, and I really think she’s going to fit into our team dynamic. She works hard and she wants to get better.”
Likewise with Alves, who took big strides in the beach volleyball program before it was shut down for the spring.
“She listens, and she’s grown, she’s developed as a player,” Lorenzi said of the former Panther. “She’s extremely coachable.”
The Redwoods women have also added three out-of-area recruits for next season, with Arianna Safford (Corning), Alexee Kline (Idaho City) and Alishia Cook-Jones (Lower Lake) all joining the team.