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The Gamut

The Gamut

The Gamut

Freshmen trio make strides in fall varsity sports

Justin Le
Swinging Into Action: Jolie Diep, one of three freshmen on a varsity team this season, scores a point in tennis practice.

Starting this season, freshmen Jenevieve Urfano, Jolie Diep, and Trina So all made varsity for their respective sports: volleyball, tennis, and cross country. As the only freshmen on their teams, their accomplishments during this first season are duly impressive. 

Throughout the season, the three have all demonstrated strong showings. In cross country’s meet at Irvine Oak Canyon on Oct. 14, So ran three miles in 22:39, taking ninth place amongst 70 other runners.

Additionally, Diep’s skills have enabled her to have a successful September season. From Aug. 29 to Oct. 2, varsity won seven times in five weeks, surely a satisfying feat for the team. Diep is currently one of the team’s alternates. One of her season highlights was winning her match at Artesia High school where she and senior Anna Lee won 6-0. 

Urfano, the volleyball team’s setter, is having a terrific first season. As of Oct. 17, varsity has a 23-5 record and won the championship at their first tournament, beating Westminster High School, on Sep. 24. Beyond the wins and successes, Urfano has also enjoyed the friendships she’s built on the team, especially in comparison to intramurals.  

“The bonds you create during a high school season are more significant, specifically because there’s camp during the summer and a greater amount of games,” Urfano said. 

Besides the benefits like gym privileges for specific sports, better equipment, and overall intensity, these bonds are one of many ways Oxford’s high school sports offer a different experience than intramurals. Likewise, Diep believes intramurals was “more temporary” and lacked a lasting feeling of companionship and closeness. 

“We had more than 35 girls tryout … A majority barely understood how to play. A good handful of them made it, despite what they knew beforehand,” Urfano said. “It doesn’t matter if you have played volleyball or not; it’s all based on your effort and attitude toward learning.”

Teams also tend to be more high-spirited, and So decided to join cross country after going to a meet and seeing the enthusiastic environment and energy. 

“It looked so fun, especially because of the close community. They were cheering each other on and I was like, ‘I wanna be there too!’” So said. 

With the inclusive environment in their sports teams, these three girls are hopeful to strengthen their friendships and create new ones as students join in future seasons. 

Currently, they’re excited to learn from the upperclassmen on the team. Although it was intimidating being the only freshmen on their teams at first, the team’s shared goals naturally brought them together. 

“I feel like age doesn’t make much of a difference on the team,” Diep said. “There’s a lot for me to look up to and learn from. I’m excited to get better by learning from [the upperclassmen] in the next 3 years; they’re all amazing people that I respect so much.” 

About the Contributor
Justin Le, Staff Writer
Justin Le is a current sophomore, beginning his second year on the Gamut staff. His interest in joining the staff came from the popular 2000s television show, Gilmore Girls, one of his personal favorite series. Since one of the protagonists is a member of their respective student-run newspaper, it only made sense for him to follow suit. Additionally, some of Justin's hobbies include binging TV shows, reading from time to time, and joining sports for about a 24-hour period before promptly quitting them. Although Justin may not be very dedicated to his life as a student athlete, he is certainly dedicated to The Gamut, so much so that he sacrificed his year-long pencil pouch for the sake of keeping a stack of GamSlam brochures from blowing away. Justin’s former Word Hunt addiction might also be pretty compelling, considering he has a total of 1858 wins, more than should be humanly possible. In addition, Justin stays involved here at Oxford, as he is SCC’s Activities Commissioner, as well as an active member of VSA, International Club, and ECO. So when he's not writing moving articles about Taylor Swift, he's got a plethora of other activities to choose from.
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Freshmen trio make strides in fall varsity sports