Slugs’ freshmen were once rivals

Filteau, Stoll become friends as first-year players at UC Santa Cruz
By: Ray Hacke Journal Sports Writer
-A +A
Chanel Filteau was initially unsure how strong her chances were of making the UC Santa Cruz volleyball team as a walk-on. “I didn’t play club volleyball,” the Colfax High graduate recalled. “I only played for my high school. But I told myself that wherever I go to college, I’d try out for the team and see if I met their standards.” Placer High graduate Melissa Stoll, who’d actually been recruited to play for the Banana Slugs and had eight years of club volleyball under her belt, held Filteau’s abilities in much higher regard. “I’d heard she was walking on, and in tryouts, when I saw her there, I knew it would benefit us in the long run to have her (on the team),” Stoll said. UCSC coach Selene Teitelbaum didn’t seek out Stoll’s opinion about Filteau. However, like Stoll, Teitelbaum apparently saw that what Filteau lacked in experience, she made up for in ability. That explains how Filteau and Stoll went from playing for rival Pioneer Valley League schools to becoming teammates at UCSC. “It was funny,” Filteau said. “We were (both) moving in early, into athletic housing, and we passed each other in the hall. We each did a double take and were like, ‘Hey, how’s it going?’” Filteau, an outside hitter, has appeared in seven of 12 matches for the Banana Slugs (10-2), recording 15 kills, including five last Wednesday against Bethany University of Scotts Valley. Stoll, who played outside hitter in high school but expects to serve primarily as a defensive specialist for UCSC, has yet to appear in a match, according to the school’s athletics Web site, “I have three amazing libero/defensive specialists ahead of me,” Stoll said. “Hopefully if I work hard, then I would (get to play in a match).” Filteau and Stoll each have a healthy respect for the other’s abilities that extends back to their high school days. Each boasts three years of experience with their respective former varsity teams, with Stoll’s Placer squads going 4-2 against Filteau’s Colfax teams in PVL play during that span. “If we beat them, she played a large part in making it hard for us to win,” Filteau said of Stoll. Stoll, likewise, said Filteau was a player to watch out for whenever the Hillgals played the Falcons. “She’s a really powerful hitter,” Stoll said. “She places the ball really well and hits the ball like a beast.” The two of them have very different career goals. Stoll, who is majoring in creative writing and psychology, hopes to eventually write novels for a living. She’s interested in the “abnormal criminal mind” as well as human rights issues such as the genocide in Darfur and human trafficking. Filteau, meanwhile, is majoring in health sciences with the goal of one day becoming a dermatologist. While they didn’t know each other well off the court during their PVL days, that’s changing now that they’re on the same team. “It’s definitely fun playing with her,” Stoll said. “Instead of just being rivals, now we’re friends and teammates.”