Area high school senior volleyball players took to the court for the last time Wednesday in the annual District 6 Senior All-Star Game at Bonneville High School.
All 22 schools in District 6 were represented and split into four teams—North, South, East and West—that put athletes from multiple classifications together on the same side of the net. Each team played a one-set match to 25 points against each of the other teams.
Ririe’s lone representative in the all-star game, Edelia Munguia, was able to furthermore preserve the evening by receiving a scholarship from the Sixth District Volleyball Officials Association.
Ririe head coach Kaitlyn Nelson nominated Munguia for the scholarship, and her letter of recommendation was read aloud Wednesday after the second match was played. As she listened, Munguia thought that the qualities Nelson shared in the letter sounded familiar. She said she was genuinely surprised, however, when she was announced as the recipient.
“I had no idea,” Munguia said. “I really appreciate my coach nominating me.”
Munguia began playing volleyball in eighth grade upon seeing several of her friends playing. This season marked a return after a year’s hiatus. She said she felt like she wasn’t good enough to try out as a junior, but she chose to come back for her senior season.
She not only made the team, but was selected to be a captain, and she said she is glad she chose to try out.
“I had a lot of fun playing with my team,” Munguia said. “This was my last year. I wanted to do it one more time.”
Nelson’s letter of recommendation also mentioned that Munguia learned English as a second language at a young age. Munguia said she picked up a lot of words from listening to classmates and teachers, but the entire process took a few years. She ultimately helped her younger siblings learn English.
“From preschool until first grade, I couldn’t understand what anyone was saying,” Munguia said. “I used hand signals and after that, I would start to catch on. By the time I was in fourth grade, my little brother was starting first grade and he already knew English from me.”
Her younger siblings partially inspired her career ambitions. Munguia said she would like to attend college to become a dental assistant.
“Whenever I’d go to the dentist with my little brothers, I asked a lot of questions,” Munguia said. “(The dentists) said, ‘You should study this if you are interested.”
Idaho Falls’ Tiffany Schwendiman won the serving contest while Bonneville’s Kalli Harris and Rigby’s Kaitlyn Younger won the hitting contest. The North team, consisting of athletes from Challis, Leadore, North Fremont, South Fremont and West Jefferson, won all three of its matches Wednesday.