Senior volleyball player Makena Houston got her start in the sport at a young age, and with parents who both played into college, she doesn’t remember life without being around the court. As a libero and captain for the Lancers, Houston leads her teammates with her energy and positive attitude.
“I like to cheer [my teammates] on and be their supporter,” says the 17-year old. “I’ve always tried to be joyful and encouraging toward others…I love that we pray before every game. It brings us back to the same purpose we play for.”
A member of the 2017 Division 2 CIF-SS championship team, Houston emerged as a key contributor in helping the Lancers secure the first girls volleyball title in school history.
“Makena has shown great growth in our program over the years,” says Orange Lutheran girls volleyball head coach, Andrew Mabry. “She plays the game with so much passion and desire that sets a great tone for our team. We are so proud of who she is as a person, teammate and player.”
Houston admits her smaller stature isn’t typical for a volleyball player, but what she may lack in height, she makes up for in work ethic.
“I’ve never been the fastest, or the tallest or the highest jumper,” says Houston. “But I’ve always worked hard to over come that. My hard work and determination have always helped me achieve my goals.”
In addition to her time on the court, the Newport Beach resident has spent her fall season the last two years as a member of the OLu surf team, often competing in a volleyball game and a surf competition on the same day. Houston also serves as a yearbook editor and enjoys playing the guitar and ukulele in her free time.
With the goal of continuing her volleyball career at the collegiate level, Houston is grateful for the guidance of her parents, who have supported her dreams every step of the way. Life lessons learned from the sport have been plenty, including the importance of coming together as a team.
“When you’re down in a game, you can’t just run away from your problems,” says Houston. “That’s not how team sports work. That’s not how life works. You have to stay with each other and fight through it together.”by Jenelyn Cunningham Russo ‘88