MILWAUKIE, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s not often a high school coach gets to see their protégé through all 4 years, but that’s the case for Milwaukie High School volleyball coach Melissa Brant.
Brant said Citlali Penaloza — or C — has “been that go-to that everyone can count on.”
Citlali was voted team captain, and the C embraces being a leader of the Mustang family.
“It’s like you know when you’re, like, the biggest sister of your sibling,” C told KOIN 6 News. “I feel that’s what it’s like.”
She had 2 goals for their squad: talking and trusting.
“Don’t hesistate, like, if somebody says that’s their ball, like, trust that they have it, they won’t let it drop or anything,” she said.
As part of the Northwest Oregon Conference, the Milwaukie Mustangs have a tough schedule. But this team embodies the saying, It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the fight in the dog.
C embodies that saying.
“When it’s a tough day or a tough match, you’re going to hear her on the sidelines cheering her team on,” Brant said. “You’re going to hear her in the stands cheering on the JV or JV 2. It’s always something positive. It could be a little smile. It could be that ‘Let’s get ’em!’, that excitement after a point. She really just brings everything for the girls.”
And she brings everything to the court.
“Fighting is very big for our team because we’re not known as the best,” Citlali Penaloza said. “We’re kind of at the bottom, so I feel like fighting is really big.”