Emily Ahedo did not start her PCC athletic career the way she wanted to. En route to graduating at San Gabriel Mission High, Ahedo started looking into joining the Lancer volleyball team late. Debating between a two and four year college option, Ahedo made some last minute choices that affected her career.
Much to Ahedo’s dismay, all the team spots were already filled by the time she decided she would come to a two year college. The PCC volleyball coach, Mike Terrill, made the suggestion that Ahedo become a part of the team by taking up the position of team manager instead.
“I won’t sugar coat it- it kinda sucks. You’re the one who has to collect the jerseys, put in the baskets,” Ahedo stated. “It isn’t the most fun thing to do you know. But I got to watch the team and learn their dynamic and how they run stuff.”
While not Ahedo’s first choice, managing the team was not a hard job. Managing also provided valuable opportunities to learn from a player perspective as well as respect the behind the scenes people more. As a manager, Ahedo still put in the work going to every practice and game. Her time as a manager built up her volleyball IQ and proved to be a vital stepping stone to her addition on the team.
While Ahedo felt welcomed and part of the team, her passion for volleyball and love of the game held her back from being fully happy. Having to watch her teammates play a sport she loved so much hurt.
“I started talking to Coach Terrill about joining the team,” Ahedo commented, “I could tell he was kinda put off by it but after seeing me play, everyone started to see that I could actually play pretty well.”
Ahedo comes from a long volleyball and athletic background. She did gymnastics for 13 years, played volleyball in all four years of high school and played club for another four years as well. She also worked at her club, Forza 1 West, as a volleyball coach and as an assistant on the 15 national team. Once allowed on the team, Ahedo thrived even more.
Last week, Lancer’s played against L.A. Trade Tech with Ahedo as the second set’s starting libero. A defensive back position, this spot is a vital one for the team.
“Coming from team manager to starting libero for a set or a game is crazy to me,” Ahedo said. Smiling ear to ear, her love of the game and pride in where she is now can be seen by everyone.
“The best benefits of being a part of this team is that they’re not my teammates but my friends,” she said. “I have a lot of teammates in my classes. Also the perks of being an athlete are awesome; you get preferred classes, you get to work in The Zone, which is a study space only for athletes, and you just having a mini home on campus.I think a lot of people could get lost at college, being alone,” Ahedo continues, “But when you have that outlet, it’s like a support team and it’s really helpful.”
In addition to being on the Lancer volleyball team, Ahedo is also a full time student and has a job as a gymnastics instructor down the street from PCC. Ahedo is usually on campus from 7 in the morning to 8 at night.
“Being on the team forces me to stay on top of my school work and to communicate with my teachers,” Ahedo explained. “We have to have grade checks with them and be in communication with them a lot because we’ll have to miss classes for games sometimes and we have to keep a certain GPA to stay on the team.”
Ahedo is dedicated to staying focused on her school work and continuing to gain experience working with children. While unsure of future athletic goals, Ahedo has plans for her future career.
“If I play at a higher level it will probably be for club,” Ahedo stated. “But my goal is to become an occupational therapist & work with kids who have disabilities, such as cerebral palsy.”
Ahedo will try to lead her teammates to the playoffs this year as they hope to capture a state championship.