By Jenelyn Russo
Photo credit: Bill Alkofer
Chris Morikawa has been around volleyball his entire life. With both cousins and an aunt who played for many years, he couldn't see himself playing any other sport.
"It was introduced to me at a very young age," says Morikawa. "I just fell in love with volleyball."
Now a senior at Servite High School, Morikawa plays both setter and opposite hitter for the Friars, positions he enjoys for their unique aspects.
"As a setter, I like being able to directly impact the game and touch the ball every play," says the 17-year-old. "There's an intellectual side about setting where you can outsmart the other coaches and other offense. And being opposite, I like being able to end plays. As a setter, I get to set up the plays, but as [opposite], I get to terminate the plays."
No matter the position he is playing, Morikawa knows volleyball is a team sport and no one person can do it all.
"I love how it's so team oriented," says Morikawa. "You can't touch the ball three times, so you have to rely on other people."
The three-year varsity player is also a captain for the Friars, and his leadership style begins with creating trust by getting to know his teammates off the court.
"Over the last three years, Chris has become a leader on our varsity team by his hard work and dedication to always improving himself," says Servite volleyball head coach, MattMarrujo. "His teammates respect him and look to him for how to handle different situations they are experiencing on and off the court. We are going to count on him in the big moments this season to score points and provide stability to our team."
A Servite Student Ambassador and a member of the school's student section, The Asylum,Morikawa also enjoys music and playing the guitar. In his final year competing for the Friars, he acknowledges the special bond the brotherhood of Servite has brought to his sports career.
"I'm going to miss the pride I have playing for this school," says Morikawa. "I'm going to miss being able to play for something bigger than myself."
Morikawa has plans to play volleyball at the collegiate level, and wants to become an English teacher. His mom and his sister, Amy, have been his strongest role models, and his faith keeps his focus in the right place.
"Prayer for me is essential before games because it helps me relax and get into the right mindset," says Morikawa. "Volleyball isn't everything, and it's easy to get caught up in it. But prayer helps to center around the fact that there's something bigger than volleyball, and that's God. It helps me know that I can play to the best of my abilities, and I don't have to worry as much, because it's not the end of the world."