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Senior profile: Santa Ynez volleyball outside hitter Ariana Merkert

Senior profile: Santa Ynez volleyball outside hitter Ariana Merkert

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With the Santa Ynez girls volleyball team facing a delayed season amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Pirates are honoring their class of 2021 seniors.

First up is Ariana Merkert. The 5-foot-6 outside hitter wears No. 6 in black and orange.

Coaches say Merkert brings a positive attitude and leads communication on the court. Merkert said her best memories with Santa Ynez happened when she was "running with the girls during workouts and "getting the time to bond with all of her teammates is the best thing about being a Lady Pirate."

Merkert said she appreciates her high school coaches because they "taught her valuable lessons over the past four years." She was motivated by their motto of “Be a leader, not a follower.”

Two mottos that best describe her are, “Always give it your best” and “Leave it on the court.”

After high school, Merkert says she plans on attending Santa Barbara City College, followed by nursing school. She is inspired by her parents and “thanks them for always being there.”

Ariana’s favorite foods are avocados and pasta. Jimmy Palacios is her favorite teacher, and she likes country music singer Luke Combs and the movie Clouds.

The Santa Ynez volleyball team went 10-17 during the 2019 season, finishing 4-6 in the Channel League. The Pirates were supposed to play their 2020 season last fall, but it has been delayed and possibly canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

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"I was able to get gaming computers installed in my classroom by our amazing IT department at the beginning of the school year," Santa Ynez AD Ashley Coelho said, adding the IT staff will continue to be involved in helping the Pirate Esports team.

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