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California volleyball player Ella Lewis has had quite the year, as far as individual accolades go.

The Pintos standout was named to the Class 3 All-State team in November. Lewis was a key contributor for a Pintos team that went 24-7-1 on the year and ended its season with a loss to Osage in the semifinal round of the Class 3 District 9 Tournament.

Lewis, a junior, said being named to the All-State team is a huge honor for her, and she was thankful for the all the help she has received.

“I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for my teammates and my coaches and my family,” Lewis said. “I am so thankful for it and it means the world. It did not set in at first, and I was like ‘wow, that is a huge honor,’ but I had to step back and think about it; I could not do any of this without anybody else. It means a lot more because I have family and everybody else behind me supporting me.”

Lewis said she found out that she made All-State after she went deer hunting.

“I was just dropping off my deer; I had gone deer hunting that weekend and I saw my dad and I was like ‘Man, I am getting really worried I have not heard and I don’t know if I had got All-State or not,’” Lewis said. “Then my coach sent me a message and as soon as I hopped out of the truck I looked at my dad and said “Oh my God, I got it’ and I was jumping up and down. Then I called my mom and then I called my grandparents and I called everybody and I was like ‘We did it.’ I was excited.”

Lewis played volleyball in middle school, when she went to Otterville up to eighth grade, then continued when she moved to California and kept up her early career playing volleyball for the Pintos. Lewis said she enjoys the thrill of volleyball.

“I get so excited and worked up when I kill a ball,” Lewis said. “What is exciting is almost the patience. I will sit there and get really jittery, and I will jump up and hit it and it just releases all that pressure, I want to say. It just feels really good when you kill the ball and you turn around and all your teammates are like ‘Yeah’ and you just get as excited.”

One of her favorite moments during her time on the team so far was beating Blair Oaks to win districts last season, Lewis said.

Lewis said this past summer, she started to take the weight room more seriously, and she has seen a big difference because of that.

“My vertical is higher and I can hit stronger,” Lewis said. “Just the more I work in the weight room, I see a big difference in endurance during the games.”

Lewis said a goal she has for the future is to continue to improve, with sights set on being named to the All-State team next year as well, in addition to being named to first team for All-Conference and All-District. She also said she wants to continue to play volleyball in college.

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