Anika Huelskamp is The Star's Girls Volleyball Player of the Year for the 2021 fall season

·4 min read
Anika Huelskamp was named the Pacific View League MVP after leading Oxnard to the league crown and into the semifinals of the CIF-SS Division 5 semifinals.
Anika Huelskamp was named the Pacific View League MVP after leading Oxnard to the league crown and into the semifinals of the CIF-SS Division 5 semifinals.

If the numbers were impressive, the player is unimpressed.

"I never think about statistics," says Anika Huelskamp. "Honestly, that's never my concern. I play to win volleyball matches."

Most everyone else will find praiseworthy exactly what Oxnard High's standout outside hitter accomplished during the fall season: There were a county-high 470 kills, good for 4.2 per set with a hitting percentage of 41.5.

The kills numbers are a Yellowjackets' single-season record, eclipsing the 450 racked up by Hope Stewart in 2013.

She tied for the team lead in service points with 109 and was second in aces with 56.

Then there was her defensive prowess, not always associated with any team's top offensive threat. The 5-foot-11 junior piled up 267 digs, good for second among the Yellowjackets.

Huelskamp doesn't think her stellar combination of offensive and defensive numbers demonstrate anything more than a passion for her sport.

"I just go out and play volleyball," she said with a smile. "I'm going to do everything I can to help us win. I want to contribute in as many ways possible."

All that and modesty too. Truth is, Huelskamp is just getting started in reaching her potential.

After leading Oxnard to the Pacific View League championship and the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 semifinals, Huelskamp receives notable laurels at season's end.

She's the Most Valuable Player in the Pacific View League and a first-team selection on the all-CIF-SS Division 5 squad. Now she's The Star's Girls Volleyball Player of the Year.

She's also focused on fine-tuning her game. Already an explosive hitter, Huelskamp is intent on polishing her all-around skills set.

"I want to get better in setting and passing," Huelskamp said. "There's always things I can do better."

Huelskamp is now engaged in club volleyball with the Los Angeles Volleyball Academy in Thousand Oaks. She's practicing three or four times a week and playing high-level tournaments at least once a month.

A host of players use club volleyball primarily to work on their own game. Huelskamp is forever a team-first player.

Anika Huelskamp set a single-season school record for kills with a county-best 470 in her junior season at Oxnard High.
Anika Huelskamp set a single-season school record for kills with a county-best 470 in her junior season at Oxnard High.

"I want to win," she said. "We're putting so much time and effort into the team. I want us to do as well as possible."

Oxnard head coach Pat Casey already regards her as likely the top player in program history.

"She's a special player and even better person," Casey said. "She's an ideal team leader and every player looks up to her."

The Yellowjackets finished 25-11 this fall, including a perfect 10-0 in the Pacific View League. Among the prime accomplishments was the program's fourth berth in the section semifinals and a first-round victory in the CIF-State SoCal Regional tournament.

Along with the single-season kills record, Huelskamp also notched the program record for most kills in a match. She amassed 29 kills in rallying the Yellowjackets to a 26-28, 19-25, 25-19, 25-16, 15-13 victory over league rival Buena on Sept. 28.

Huelskamp demonstrated a knack for playing big in big matches.

She posted a team-high 20 kills in a four-game victory over Crean Lutheran in the Division 5 quarterfinals and followed with a team-best 12 kills in the three-game loss to eventual champion Torrance in the semifinals.

Junior outside hitter Anika Huelskamp could finish her high school career as the greatest player in the history of the illustrious Oxnard High girls volleyball program.
Junior outside hitter Anika Huelskamp could finish her high school career as the greatest player in the history of the illustrious Oxnard High girls volleyball program.

Huelskamp propelled Oxnard to a five-game victory over Palisades in the first round of state competition with 27 kills, 14 digs and three service aces.

The encore season for Huelskamp and Oxnard in 2022 could be special.

Huelskamp returns, as does star opposite Jada Stone and clutch setter Ava Ordonez.

The Yellowjackets will likely be placed in an elevated division next fall, but Huelskamp appreciates the challenge. A prime goal is the program's first spot in a CIF-SS championship match.

"It's fun to go up against the best players possible," she said. "I'm looking forward to next season. We have a chance to be pretty good."

The Star's Girls Volleyball Second Team

  • Nicole Zake, Oaks Christian, Jr.

  • Kaile Yung, Westlake, Sr.

  • Beatrice Gamboa-Estrella, Royal, Jr.

  • Serenity Orr, Camarillo, Sr.

  • Kylie Abbotson, Moorpark, Sr.

  • Katey Duff, Ventura, So.

  • Alessandra Pena, Rio Mesa, Sr.

  • Ava Ordonez, Oxnard, So.

  • Jessie Gomez, Buena, Sr.

Loren Ledin is the Prep Editor for The Star. He can be reached at loren.ledin@vcstar.com or 805-437-0285.

This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Anika Huelskamp is The Star's Girls Volleyball Player of the Year

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting