Mariner senior Jaleena Valle is the undisputed leader of the Marauders’ volleyball team.
“We’ve put her into some different positions — in the past she was a libero, and this year we switched her to the outside for a while. She’s done a great job,” Marauders coach Julia Riordan said. “Whatever we ask her to do, she gives 110 percent. She’s our best passer, best defensive player and best server.”
Valle, an All-Wesco 4A selection last season, has been a member of the Mukilteo Volleyball Association and Blue Royals Volleyball Academy since she was 12.
“I think that defense is really important, and everything else ties into it,” she said. “Coach (Riordan) says that passing and serving are how to win a game. I take those things seriously when I play. My philosophy is that I want to play as hard as I can on the back row, because without defense, there’s no offense.”
Here are five things to know about Valle:
She moved to Everett from Peoria, Arizona, when she was in the seventh grade. “The transition was difficult because my dad (stayed) in Arizona,” Valle said. “I had a lot of good friends down there. Ironically, I moved right in the middle of volleyball season, and Coach Riordan noticed me right away. Friend-wise and school-wise the transition was hard, but in terms of sports, it was (easier).”
She plays drums for Mariner’s bands and drumline. “I call myself a band geek,” she said. “I love playing music, making other people happy at football games, impressing people. It’s one of my passions, and I’m not sure why. I’m good at it because I’ve been doing it since the fourth grade. My favorite thing in band is the halftime shows. Our theme changes every year, and it’s fun learning new music. I love performing for people in general. I’m a confident person and love showing my skills. Getting applause or a reaction to the hard work I’ve put in, that’s what I like.”
She wants to go into dentistry. Valle said she’s leaning toward attending Shoreline Community College and going through its dental hygiene program, then transferring to the University of Washington-Bothell and majoring in science. “I want to be an orthodontist,” she said. “I want to help people. I used to have braces, and I’ve watched videos of people putting them on and taking them off. It looks interesting to me.”
She likes to longboard. “A longboard is like a skateboard, but longer,” Valle said. “It’s not used for tricks — it’s more to cruise on longer roads. It’s fast, so if I need to get somewhere, I can use it. Now that I have a car I don’t use it quite as much, but if it’s nice outside, I like to go out for a ride.”
Time management has been her biggest challenge. Last year she juggled school activities, high school volleyball, select volleyball, band responsibilities and a job at a Panda Express. “Communication is the biggest key to balancing my time,” Valle said. “I let my volleyball coaches and band instructors know when I’m going to be there and not be there. It’s hard to have two passions at the same time, but I have to make time for both. I like staying busy. I’m always writing things down in my calendar.”