Dos Pueblos High’s sophomore outside hitter Portia Sherman didn’t choose to play volleyball. As she put it, “I was just kind of born to be a volleyball player.”
That’s because ever since she was a kid, she was always around her mother, Ann Sherman, who, in turn, was usually out playing volleyball herself.
“My mom has been playing for a while, since I was born at least, and she’s always played beach volleyball and before I could stay home alone I used to go to the beach with her all the time and that’s how I started playing in the first place,” Sherman said.
Sherman isn’t resentful of that though.
In fact, she could not be happier with the fact that her life revolves around the sport of volleyball. She’s grateful that this is the sport that she could dedicate her life too.
“I’m just like so happy that it (her passion) was volleyball because I feel volleyball, I feel like it’s different than other sports, like the way that people can bond on the court,” Sherman said.
It also helps that Sherman is a solid player both indoors and outdoors.
For the Chargers, despite being just a sophomore, she constantly delivers night in and night out.
On Sept. 19, in a 3-0 win over San Marcos, Sherman had 15 kills and 14 digs. That win would be significant as it would help DP earn a share of the Channel League come season’s end as the team finished with a 9-1 league mark.
“It’s really fun and I am so happy to be playing for this team,” Sherman said.
And, in Thursday’s first round-playoff match, Sherman again delivered a double-double performance with 10 kills and 11 digs.
“I know I had a couple of errors at the beginning, but I knew I could not make them. Not for me, but because I knew this could be some of my teammate’s last game and I have to give an effort for everyone else,” Sherman said.
In beach volleyball, Sherman has also seen some success.
Last year, Sherman won two AVP Beach First Tournament titles, defeating a San Marcos pair in each championship match.
Since the start of the indoor season at DP, Sherman has taken time away from beach volleyball, but she said she is getting back into it more now as the season nears its conclusion.
Sherman attributes all of her success, indoors or out, to her mother.
“It’s really fun watching my mom play and I learned a lot from her. She’s got a lot of skills that I would like to have. And I’ve always looked up to her to be a good volleyball player,” Sherman said.
More than the success on the court, however, volleyball gives Sherman a special bond with her family, especially her mother.
“It’s really nice because now our whole family has volleyball in common and she (her mother) can also teach me volleyball because she knows it as well,” Sherman said.
Sherman said that if it wasn’t for her mom, she probably would never have even picked up a volleyball, and all of us would have been robbed of seeing such a dominant athlete.
“She’s helped me through it all. She signed me up for all these tournaments, she’s really just very important to my volleyball career, she drives me everywhere, and she signed me up for all these things. She’s just a really big part of my volleyball life,” Sherman said.
In most households, it’s common to see the parents cheering for their kids, but Sherman has a special opportunity to cheer on her mother in some events.
“She doesn’t play many matches anymore, she used to play in a lot of tournaments, but it’s pretty fun. She cheers me on and I get to cheer her on and it’s nice,” Sherman said.
Sherman also is not tired of volleyball at all. In fact, Sherman hopes to continue playing, in college and hopefully one day professionally. It’s her life dream.
And, — shocker — she wants to follow in the steps of her mother and continue the beach volleyball legacy.
“I feel like if my mom didn’t play beach volleyball, like if she just played indoor, I would probably be more into indoor, but because she plays beach, I’m more into that,” Sherman said.
The thing in the front of Sherman’s mind, however, is the second round of the CIF-SS Division 3 Bracket. DP will travel to face Notre Dame Academy, who won its first-round match in four sets, at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Despite it being a tough challenge, Sherman’s confidence, which is apparent from the sidelines at any of her games, is as high as it could be.
“I’m super confident. I think we’re really good together and if we keep our mental game strong, which we have been towards the end of the season, then we can totally make it all the way,” Sherman said.
“Notre Dame is really good and I think if we go, expecting the most from the other team, then we can definitely perform better.”