Wilhite for the win

Peyton Wilhite prepares to deliver a spike against an opposing team to score a point.

Photo by Carrie Wilhite

Peyton Wilhite prepares to deliver a spike against an opposing team to score a point.

By Ellery Wakeman, Cathedral Catholic High School

Since she was nine years old, Cathedral Catholic High School Student Peyton Wilhite ‘19 has excelled at volleyball, putting hard work and dedication into the sport for nearly her entire life.

“I did little toddler camps in first and second grade, but I started playing club volleyball when I was nine years old, on a twelve-year-old team,” Peyton Wilhite said.

Although she played on a team with members older than her, Peyton Wilhite benefitted by having a role model in her sister Brennan Wilhite ‘17.

“Peyton was always playing with the older girls, who were my age, and a lot of them didn’t realize that she was younger,” Brennan Wilhite said.

After playing volleyball since third grade and committing to play in college, Peyton Wilhite looks forward to attending Georgetown University next fall.

“I’m committed to Georgetown, which is really exciting because it’s a lot different,” Peyton Wilhite said. “It’s on the east coast, and I’ve never been. I grew up in San Diego and haven’t explored that much of it, so I’m really excited.”

Peyton Wilhite plans to continue her volleyball career at the collegiate level next year, playing alongside her sister at Georgetown.

“Not a lot of people have the opportunity to play both high school and college sports with their sibling,” Peyton Wilhite said. “So, I think it’s going to be a cool experience.” 

Brennan Wilhite also is looking forward to her sister’s arrival next year, and both sisters eagerly anticipate the reunion.

“We have always dreamed about playing volleyball together in college, and it is so exciting that we have this amazing opportunity,” Brennan Wilhite said.

Peyton Wilhite echoes a similar sentiment.

“I’m just excited to be back with her, and when we’re on the court together we really pump each other up and bring a lot of energy to the court,” Peyton Wilhite said.

Both Brennan Wilhite and Peyton Wilhite describe their favorite memory together as when they won California Interscholastic Federation State Championships together in 2016 as CCHS varsity volleyball team members.

“It was really fun at CCHS getting to win State together, and I’m excited to be back with her,” Peyton Wilhite said.

CCHS varsity volleyball coach Miss Juliana Evens coached both of the Wilhite sisters together.

“I coached Peyton and Brennan together for two years on the varsity team,” Miss Evens said. “I actually never really thought of them or treated them as sisters when we were on the court. They were both simply valuable players who helped us win a state title.”

In addition to playing for CCHS, Peyton Wilhite also competes for Coast Volleyball Club and USA Volleyball High Performance National Training Team.

“I play for the National Team, so I get to travel to a lot of different states that I usually wouldn’t go to and meet a bunch of international people,” Peyton Wilhite said.

In order to continue improving and excelling in the sport, Peyton Wilhite’s volleyball schedule includes daily practices.

“During season, [the CCHS varsity volleyball team] practices every day after school, and we usually have league games on Tuesdays and Thursdays.”

The Lady Dons lost the CIF Open Division Championship game to Torrey Pines High School last Saturday, ending the team’s CIF run. However, with State playoffs coming up, the season is not over yet.

“The team is just really close, all of the seniors are like sisters, and everyone plays really well together,” Peyton Wilhite said.

This story was originally published on El Cid on November 28, 2018.