by Mike Miazga (PrepVolleyball.com)
Redondo Union girls’ volleyball coach Tommy Chaffins recalled a parent meeting earlier this year he had with Tracey Mosebar, the mother of Sea Hawk senior middle blocker Hannah Mosebar.
Before getting into the details of that conversation, it’s appropriate to put Chaffins’ philosophy on parental interaction into proper context.
“I maintain a healthy distance between myself and my parents even though it probably costs me from getting to know some great people,” Chaffins said, noting impartiality in making player decisions is of paramount importance to him.
So in this meeting, Chaffins mentions to Tracey Mosebar that he had coached each of her four daughters at Redondo. There has been a Mosebar girl on a Redondo team each year since 2005.
“I asked her if we’d spent an hour (total) talking during that time. She said, ‘No,’” he recalled.
“I don’t know if it’s because I’m a hermit or I’m just being rude (laughs).”
It’s actually neither. Chaffins has a great deal of respect, gratitude and admiration for an extremely unique situation he has been part of involving two accomplished volleyball families. While Don and Tracey Mosebar’s four daughters have gone through the Redondo program, so have Joe and Lisa Dykstra’s three daughters and one son. Their oldest daughter Jenna was a standout at Marymount High School, the school that prevented Redondo from capturing the coveted CIF and State titles this season.
Redondo’s 25-16, 25-18, 25-13 loss to Marymount in the CIF Southern California Regional Division 1 final marked the conclusion of the Dykstra and Mosebar volleyball era at Redondo.
Hannah Mosebar, a three-year varsity player, and four-year varsity veteran Skylar Dykstra were key players on this year’s Redondo team, which finished 37-5 and was runner-up to Marymount in the CIF Southern Section Division 1-AA and the CIF Southern California Regional championships.
The Sea Hawk’s 37 wins set a school record by a boys or girls volleyball team and included a 30-match winning streak, with sweeps over each Bay League foe including rival Mira Costa, ending Costa’s 27-year run as league champion.
“I am a lucky man to have coached such fine athletes for so long,” Chaffins said. “I will miss the families 100 percent as much as I will miss the kids.”
Chaffins, Redondo’s girls coach since 2001 (he also was the boys coach from 1995 to 2006), heaps major praise on both sets of parents for their continued involvement in the program over the years.
“They have given a lot of time to this program,” he said. “I have never been approached with anything where there have been strings attached. It’s always been, ‘Here is some support, coach.’ There has never been a hint of ‘this is the way you should do things better.’ They have donated their time as trip chaperones and helping with things such as assembling the uniforms. I’m pretty crappy with all of that and they know it. A lot of the things people don’t like about coaching high school are almost all the things that have been removed from my plate here. I have a lot of respect for those families.”
Skylar Dykstra, who led the Sea Hawks in kills this season, has seen more Redondo volleyball matches than she can remember. She got into the sport at the age of eight at the club level.
“Volleyball was always something I wanted to do,” said Dykstra, who will graduate early from Redondo and begin classes at UCLA in March. “I was dying to get onto the court. I was begging my parents to get out there and play. They would tell me I was too young. Once I was eight, they let me. I was the happiest girl in the world.”
The outside hitter at Redondo and club libero is the youngest of five siblings, following Jenna (who played at Marymount and then went on to become Davidson University’s all-time assists leader), brother Joey (played at USC for a year and now is a pro beach player), Devon (played at Colorado and UCLA, now studying at UCLA) and Lara (Nebraska’s starting libero). Skylar and Lara and Hannah Mosebar were on the Redondo team in 2010 that reached the CIF finals and finished third in the state.
“I’ve always aspired to be like my older siblings,” Dykstra said. “They have always been great role models who work hard. They all had a passion for the sport and a desire to win and improve their skills. I’ve learned everything from them. I saw how much fun they had out there and that made me want to grow up and be just like them.”
Mosebar’s opinion of the sport at a younger age was a bit different.
“My first memories of Redondo volleyball were being up in the stands and playing my Game Boy instead of watching volleyball,” she laughed.
Mosebar was 10 when she went to a clinic hosted by a local club. “That’s when I really got into it,” she said. “They asked me if I wanted to be on a team. I was really honored and ever since then I’ve been super into it.”
Mosebar followed in the footsteps of sisters Maddie (played at El Camino College and studied at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif.), Amy (played four years at Biola) and Holly (studying at Biola). As one might guess from the information contained in the parentheses following her sisters’ names, Mosebar is strongly considering Biola as her next academic destination with volleyball participation as a possibility.
“My sisters have had a huge influence on me,” said Mosebar, whose father played for the NFL’s Oakland Raiders (one of only three starting centers for the team from 1960 to 1994). “They taught me a lot about volleyball. They have been my inspiration in volleyball and they have helped me create who I am as a volleyball player and as a person today.”
Both Skylar Dykstra and Hannah Mosebar remember the exact moment they met. It occurred at the Ann Kang Invitational in Hawaii. Redondo was playing in the season-opening event and the two were there watching their sisters play.
“Lara and I were there supporting Devon and Hannah was there with Holly supporting Amy,” recalled Dykstra, whose father was drafted by the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. “Lara and I said that the Mosebars looked so fun and we wanted to meet them. I just remember really hitting it off.”
Mosebar added, “I met her at the Benihana where the team was going out to eat in Hawaii. I remember thinking she looked so cool.”
The two used to help work the snack stand at Redondo home games. “When Joey and Devon were playing there, Hannah and I would work the snack stand,” Dykstra said. “We didn’t enjoy watching our sisters so we liked to go outside and pepper. Devon and Joey can remember looking through the window and seeing Hannah and me peppering instead of watching them.
“It’s been awesome and very special for both of us. We come from big families that are similar in many ways. The Mosebars are a very close family and so are we. We’ve been able to share in the experience at Redondo with our families.”
Mosebar expressed a similar sentiment. “It’s been great being with the Dykstras for so many years. They are a great family that gets along so well. It’s been nice being with them.”
Both girls acknowledge a big part of their success has come from the support they’ve received from their families over the years.
“My parents have been awesome,” Mosebar says. “They’ve been to almost all of my games and have given me great support. The couple of times they haven’t been able to go, it made me realize how much I appreciate having them there.”
“I feel the love everywhere from my family,” Dykstra says. “My parents get so pumped up. Joey and Devon come to every one of my games. Jenna lives in North Carolina now so she sends me motivational text messages. I feel the support everywhere no matter where they are.”
Jenna reiterated the importance of family support.
“Before big games, we always send massive family texts with little words of wisdom and inspiration,” Jenna said. “I always tell my siblings to try their very, very best and know at the end of the match that you left it on the court. Losing is bad enough, but losing and knowing you could have done something more is the worst feeling.
“I remember one AAU beach tournament where every Dykstra, except me, was in the finals. I was bummed out but my siblings wouldn’t let me sulk. We went to a big family dinner afterward with family friends and it was a celebration for everyone and we were all just happy to be all together.”
Current good times
This Redondo season, Dykstra and Mosebar say, was made special by a number of different factors. Dykstra feels Chaffins played a big role in that success.
“Coach has always stressed to us that we should play volleyball because we love it,” Dykstra says. “We should never feel like we have to play volleyball and we should never have too much stress over it because it’s a game we love to play. He does things that make sure we don’t dislike the sport. He’s always telling us all you can do is control what you do on the court. Having such a great coach makes this season even more special.”
Mosebar added that team chemistry this season was off the charts.
“There is so much I like about this team,” she said. “We’ve all put in a lot of work in order to do well. We’re all there for each other. It’s a selfless team and that’s something that has really blessed us this year.”
When the season came to a conclusion, both Dykstra and Mosebar were well aware they were lowering the curtain on a run of family volleyball greatness at the school.
“Redondo volleyball is like my second family,” Mosebar said. “It’s been such a great program to be in. It’s been awesome. I watched my sisters play on the same court I am now playing on. Redondo volleyball will be fine without us. I hope we’ve made an impression on the program in a good way.”
“It’s been awesome,” Dykstra adds. “I’m the last Dykstra to go through Redondo. I’ve had some great memories.”
Chaffins admits there will be a void when the two families no longer show up on a Redondo roster.
“I definitely will miss them,” he said. “In the South Bay, the Dykstras and Mosebars are synonymous with athletic success and to me they are synonymous with being even greater people.”
Chaffins noted he plans on making an exception to his parental keep a distance rule after the season.
“I hope sometime after the season to have a meal with those families and talk about some of the many, many special moments I will have in my heart forever,” he said.
Read sidebar to this article: Sea Hawk family affair