By Jenelyn Russo
Photo Credit: Robert Zaleski
With a mother who played volleyball through high school and college, Christian Oviedo had the perfect teacher for the sport right in his own home.
"I was about 12 years old when I started [playing volleyball] in elementary school," says Oviedo. "I never pictured myself coming [to Servite] and being a varsity athlete with it."
The Servite High School junior is always ready to play any position where his coaches may need him, but Oviedo has found his place with the Friars as their setter.
"I enjoy being able to man the court because it's almost like the quarterback of volleyball," says Oviedo. "I love being able to...be the leader on the court for my team."
As a varsity player since his sophomore year, Oviedo is drawn to the how volleyball has forced him to continually focus on what's ahead instead of looking behind.
"I enjoy the fast-paced nature of it," says Oviedo. "Just being able to have to move on from it and not necessarily being able to dwell on the past of it. Your team has to come together to help you move forward after a play."
Oviedo's strong passion for the game is fueled by the opportunity he has each match to represent his fellow Friars.
"I really like being able to display how we as a team come together, because that's taught at Servite, the brotherhood," says Oviedo.
And his teammates know they can count on Oviedo regardless of the need.
"Christian sets a great example for everyone with his work ethic on and off the court," says Servite varsity volleyball head coach, Matt Marrujo. "The most impressive thing about Christian is the integrity with which he lives his life. All of his teammates know that they can trust him to be there for them if they need anything."
Oviedo serves his on campus as a member of Servite's Priory Leadership Program as well as in his community as part of a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), a role the Brea resident has volunteered for since age 11.
He didn't think it would be a possibility when he entered high school, but Oviedo hopes to continue playing volleyball in college along with studying pre-law. The 17-year old's faith keeps him focused on the big picture.
"My faith is a big part of me," says Oviedo. "Make sure you don't lose sight of what you're looking for. It's helped me reach a deeper part of my faith, realizing there's always a path."
The many role models in his life range from his grandparents to his father to his coaches. But his most significant inspiration remains the one who got him his start in the sport, his mother.
"She's the one that got me into volleyball," says Oviedo, "and she's always taught me to be the best that I can."