Cameron Baklenko for Athlete of the Month

Cameron Baklenko ‘20 was named Athlete of the Month for girls beach volleyball.

Baklenko transferred to WHS from Washington state this August. She made the All Ventura County and All Marmonte League teams last fall. Baklenko was a starting outside hitter for WHS’ indoor volleyball team, which scored 33-2 and won a Marmonte League Championship.

“Cam makes the game look easy,” said coach Ernest Rittenhouse. “Although she moved from a cold state up north, she looks like someone who grew up playing on the Southern CA beaches.”

This season, Baklenko plays beach volleyball with partner Jen Trephan ‘19. The pair is currently undefeated.

“Baklenko fits right in with WHS’ traditionally powerhouse beach team,” said Rittenhouse. “She and Jen create legit fear against most of their competition.”

Baklenko has been playing volleyball since she was a toddler. Her mom was a professional volleyball player and her inspiration for joining the sport.

“She lives by example,” said Baklenko. “My mom encourages me to strive to do my best in all aspects of life while also being a good person.”

Baklenko’s family treats life like a game; they put their all into everything, but they play by the rules and respect other players.

“Everything is very competitive outside of sports and in sports, but we also have a very big set of values,” said Baklenko.

She believes that this environment has benefitted the way she views life as a whole.

“Growing up in a family that expects you to try your hardest has definitely given me the values I have to be the person I am,” said Baklenko.

Baklenko is a strong positive force for the indoor volleyball team. She consistently provides moral support and advice.

“Even if you make a bad play, she’s always there to provide constructive criticism” said teammate Katelyn Chen ‘21.

The indoor volleyball team was a source of inspiration for Baklenko.

“I definitely think we teammates can learn from each other,” said Baklenko. “Finding that balance [between] helping each other but understanding that you’re not their coach… is important.”

Baklenko was honored to receive the Athlete of the Month award.

“It’s kind of cool because it’s such a big school,” said Baklenko. “It’s something that my old school never did.”

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