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Fleet commander of Mercy armada
Although she joined the team part way though the 2011 season, there's been no denying the tremendous impact senior Ella Fleet has made on Mercy High's volleyball squad.
After her sophomore year at Red Bluff High, she transferred and made her Mercy debut on Sept. 27, and was instrumental in the Warriors' march to the Division VI championship game.
Despite playing in just 60 of Mercy's 92 total games, she still ranked fourth on the team in kills, was fourth in aces with 25 and blocks with 15, while also making 207 digs, which was fifth best.
When watching a Mercy volleyball match she's easy to spot on the court, even if you don't know her uniform number or what she looks like. Just look for the player who serves as an offensive and defensive anchor, and you'll be looking right at her.
"She brings a spark. If she's not on the court you can tell," praised coach Zane Zelei. "Every play she touches the ball, or is very close to it She brings an offense that makes opposing coaches take notice."
At the time of writing, Fleet ranked first for the Lady Warriors in kills, blocks and serve receptions, and second in aces and digs.
A one-sport athlete, Fleet listed a number of reasons why volleyball is her favorite.
"I like the intensity of it. It's good to be able to be part of the team and to bond with teammates," she said.
Fleet has honed her considerable court skills by playing with the Riot - a Northern California Volleyball Association (NVCA) club team. While generally listed at 5-8 on the Mercy roster, she laughed at that and insisted she is more like 5-4. The confusion is easy to understand, seeing as how she plays like she's 5-10.
Any uncertainty as to whether her voiced passion for the sport is genuine, is quickly alleviated when she smiles, "It's such a rush!," when describing how it feels when she makes a big block.
The transfer to Mercy has been nothing but a positive experience for Fleet, who said she is currently maintaining a 3.8 GPA. "I shadowed here," she said of her decision to transfer, "I knew Kayce and Briana (the Kemp sisters) and it seemed like a good fit. I instantly knew."
Along with hoping to help Mercy to an extended playoff run, Fleet is also trying to showcase her volleyball skills to potential recruiters.
"I'm trying to get recruited to a university, so I have to get all my stuff up online," she said. While playing volleyball is in her immediate future, she is considering possibly going into the medical field, once again because it sounds like it would be "exciting."
It seems a natural progression for a girl so fueled by adrenaline, but for now she's content to keep it contained for use the volleyball court.
With her hustle and drive, she'll do with her future the same as what she does when a set is directed her way - she'll kill it.
CONTACT Craig Purcell at 824-1036 or firstname.lastname@example.org.