Sweat glazes Peyton Moyles’ face as she pushes through another day of rigorous physical training, past the aches in her trembling legs and the resistance of her exhausted arms.
She knows all too well the “no pain, no gain” routine. Before she played volleyball for Pierce, she trained at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Moyles, who is a setter, graduated from Redlands East Valley High School in California in 2013. She was immediately recruited to play volleyball for the Air Force in Colorado Springs, a member of the Mountain West Conference.
She has been playing volleyball since the sixth grade for club and school teams. In 12th grade, she was number one among hundreds of seniors in a showcase for students who had not yet committed to play for a college.
The U.S. Air Force Academy took an interest in Moyles.
However, soon after joining the Air Force, Moyles realized that her philosophies about life were different than those at the academy. She left the Air Force in the middle of her sophomore year.
“Volleyball was a huge reason I went there and I realized that’s not the reason I was staying there,” Moyles said. “I didn’t want to be there anymore and I hate to say that because some of my best friends are there… It made me the person I am today. It really has. It shaped me, but it just wasn’t for me.”
During her sophomore year in the Air Force, Moyles didn’t have the chance to play volleyball which made being there even harder.
“Not being able to play was a huge upset. As far as my volleyball career, that was the biggest hurdle,” Moyles said. “I really had to find myself and if I wanted to be there and who I wanted to be. But I started playing again and I came home and I was like this is where I need to be.”
Despite leaving, Moyles is very proud to have gotten into the Air Force and is grateful for her experience. She attributes a lot of her mental toughness to the academy.
“There’s a lot of things I learned there that made me the athlete I am today. They broke you down a lot over there. They really did, just to see how you would handle it,” Moyles said. “Like stress, putting you in worse situations, and all that kind of stuff and like being here, I’ve just been able to take a deep breath when it comes to certain situations and I thank the academy for that.”
Moyles came to Pierce because of the women’s volleyball team’s reputation for winning. She felt she was compatible with the coach and the players.
“I’m really, really excited for this year. I know we’re a really good team,” Moyles said. “I can feel it. All of us can feel it, and I know we can do some real damage.”
Pierce women’s volleyball coach Nabil Mardini said Moyles is the type of player the team needs, describing her as a great leader.
“She’s got a lot of good coaching before she came here, so she came to us very prepared and ready to take us to the next level and she has,” Mardini said. “She’s a phenomenal volleyball player and an outstanding human being.”
Moyles coaches volleyball on the weekends and will coach at the Los Angeles Volleyball Academy in the spring. Being a coach and a player has given Moyles a dual perspective. She is able to coach while simultaneously understanding what it means to be a player and vice versa.
“I love coaching and I love being able to make a different type of impact in someone else’s life,” Moyles said. “I love making a difference with sports. I just want to be involved in it.”
“She’s a lot of fun to be around, but she’s even more fun to play with,” teammate Cassidy Rosso said. “She makes amazing plays all the time and she constantly surprises you.”
Moyles has not declared a major, but she would like to do something involving sports management or broadcasting.