Player Profile: Lana Clesca


Lisa Barry

You may know her as head captain and middle hitter on the Warren Hills Volleyball Team, but you probably don’t know that senior Lana Clesca is also an accomplished figure skater.

Clesca has been skating since she was eight, when her mom enrolled her for lessons at Flemington Ice Arena.

“My mom grew up in Canada and figure skating was just what everyone did,” she said, “so when she moved here, she just naturally looked for ice skating.”  

Clesca continued with group lessons until age nine, when she moved onto individual lessons and progressed over time to hour-and-a-half lessons, five days a week. 

By the age of 12, Clesca decided she needed a break.

        “I had a falling out with my old coach and I felt like I had no life,” she said. “I was always at the rink practicing and I had no time to hang out with my friends.”

It wasn’t long, however, before a new opportunity appeared.

“I had actually never considered a team sport because skating had taken up so much time,” she said, “but when fliers were handed out at the middle school, I thought I would give volleyball a try.”  

During her freshman year, Clesca not only joined volleyball, but the swim and track teams as well, deciding by the end of her freshman year to play just volleyball. She has been playing the sport for four years now and playing at the varsity level for three. 

During her sophomore year, Clesca realized she missed figure skating and decided to return to the ice.

“I’m glad I went back,” she said.  “I hope I keep skating and that I get my last two gold medals.” 

She said her packed schedule keeps her busy from early morning till night. 

“I wake up at 4:30 to go skating, then I go to school. Then I have either a game or practice after school. I don’t get to my homework until about 8:30 at night,” she said. “Sometimes it can be really stressful, especially since I am taking three AP classes this year and I have a job, but I love it.” 

Clesca said she has learned valuable lessons from all sports, but that volleyball taught her teamwork.

         “I learned how to work in a team environment,” she said. “Track, swimming and figure skating are all individual sports, so discovering that volleyball depends on other people’s performances for a good outcome was new.”