Varsity girls volleyball defeats South Hills

Varsity girls volleyball defeated South Hills 3-2 in its first home league game of the season Monday, Sept. 10.

In the first set, both teams went point for point, resulting in the score being tied at three different instances. Aces from outside hitter junior Amber Johnson and right side senior Hana Abdullah earned Walnut several points. However, South Hills won the first set 21-25, when Walnut failed to return the ball after it was tipped over the net.

“Going into this game, we felt confident that we were going to do well because we had been doing well in our past games,” middle blocker Lauren Ghibaudo said. “There’s always a little bit of nervousness going into your first league game, but we felt ready because of preseason.”

During the second set, the score stayed within a few points for the entirety of the set. Rallies between the Mustangs and the Huskies ended with the Huskies hitting the ball into the net. The Mustangs won the second set 25-23, after the Huskies hit the ball out of bounds in the last rally.

“We got our act together, and we decided that we had to communicate [because] if we don’t communicate we might lose the game,” Johnson said.

Walnut won the third set 25-20. Setter freshman Aubrey Tanner set the ball for outside hitter sophomore Michelle Zhou to earn an early point. Tanner later tipped the ball over the net to win Walnut’s second set.

“During the set, it was a little nerve-wracking because there were very close games and they were a very good team,” Tanner said. “Then, after the set when we won, it felt good. We felt confident. We were all pumped up and I felt pumped up.”

The Mustangs began the fourth set with blocks from middle blocker junior Riley Hoff and Abdullah. Back-to-back doubles violations by the Huskies brought the score to 7-10 in the middle of the set. However, the Mustangs were unable to return several of the Huskies’ serves, and the Huskies won the fourth set 18-25.

Walnut took a 4-0 lead to start the final set, with aces from libero junior Jasmyn Domingo. After another doubles violation by South Hills, Zhou served and South Hills returned it with one hit. Abdullah tapped the ball into a gap in South Hills’ formation to bring Walnut’s lead to 5 points. After a serve into the net by Walnut, South Hills and Walnut rallied. The rally ended with Hoff blocking South Hills’ hit and winning the last set 15-10.

“It felt really good [to win] because they were a  hard team to play, so it was very exciting,” Tanner said. “I don’t think we played them before, so we didn’t really know too much about them. We just tried to stay confident and play our game.”

By Bhalpriya Sandhu, Sports editor
Photo by Isaac Le