In Peru where soccer is the most popular sport, women’s volleyball is not to far behind as they have seen success at the international stage winning silver in the 1988 Olympics.
For Tallie Monsalve, that is not an exception as she wants to go far ever since having the passion for the sport when she was little.
The 18-year-old nursing major began playing on a volleyball team when she was in sixth grade, but remembers the first time she was introduced to the game as a kid and was inspired by her aunt to play the game.
“In sixth grade my aunt found a volleyball clinic, and she was encouraging me to go and play,” Monsalve said. “The girls were older than me, so at first I didn’t want to, but she still pushed me to play.”
Tallie played for El Camino Real High School, the winners of the LA City Section Division I girls’ volleyball title.
Tallie Monsalve started her first year as libero for the women’s volleyball team this season. She was the libero for El Camino Real’s LA City Section Division I title-winning team and has been playing volleyball since she was a little girl and does not plan on giving it up anytime soon.
After six years, Monsalve plans to continue playing volleyball at the university level.
“I love playing volleyball. If I didn’t have volleyball in my life, I don’t know what I’d be doing,” Monsalve said.
She is open to opportunities to go pro like her favorite volleyball player, Brenda Castillo.
Monsalve mentioned that if it doesn’t happen, she would be okay because she plans to have a career in nursing.
Monsalve credits head coach Nabil Mardini for her confidence this season.
“We still have time to improve, and I feel like we will improve and work better together and find that rhythm that we need. We have the tools, we just need to know how to execute them,” Monsalve said. “We’re all good friends. I love the program, and we have a really good coach.”
Casey Hele, the setter, said she likes her teammates, and the unity makes a good environment in the locker room.
“I really like all the girls on the team. It’s a good environment. We’re always pushing each other, and we all have similar mindsets as far as our goals and trying to get better,” Hele said.
Opposite player Rachel Wiley said that the team will only get stronger as the season progresses.
“I feel like we’re definitely going to get stronger. There are some things we need to work on, but overall, we have a really good team,” Wiley said.
As they continue to practice and try to find their rhythm as a team, the girls are learning to work together, Mardini said.
Because of new additions, Mardini said that the team is still learning to play together.
“We have a young team, and they have a lot of potential. I’m looking forward to seeing the final product in November,” Mardini said. “Tallie has a lot of potential, she just lacks the self-esteem sometimes.”
Mardini thinks highly of Monsalve and praises her work ethic.
“We all think very highly of her. She’s an athlete, she’s a great libero and team member, and she definitely has the work ethic. I’m happy to have her on the team,” Mardini said.