Varsity volleyball defeats Wilson

Varsity volleyball defeated Wilson 3-0 in a non-league game on Tuesday, Aug. 29 at home.

Middle blocker senior Aya Al Juraishi led the team with five spikes, a service ace and a block, and middle blocker junior Savannah Handy led the defense with four blocks. Throughout the game, head coach Darren Hoff substituted the starting lineups with different rotations.    

“Offensively, I think we were able to put the ball in the open spots, so that’s why we were so far ahead,” Al Juraishi said. “[In terms of defense], I think we could have just been more patient. We were on our toes [when] the ball was coming slowly. We could have easily stayed there and passed it back instead of getting super scared.”

In the first set, Wilson led 3-0 until Walnut scored its first point with a spike from outside hitter senior Janell Currier. The set ended with a tip from Currier, putting the Mustangs up 25-12.

“The first couple of points were really hard for us. We were making a lot mistakes, but our coach kept calling them out. That made us get it together, and we kept that same mentality up every match,” defensive specialist senior Allison Greene said. “Today, everyone was in a positive mood so that really helped with [our] spirits.”

The Mustangs started the second set with a missed receive, but followed with a nine point run, putting the score at 12-3. The Wildcats countered with a five point run of their own. However, the set ended at 25-12 with four consecutive service aces from libero senior Selena Chen.

“[At practice], we were doing specific drills and trying new things to put into place today in the game, and it worked. This time, we were focusing on speed of play and getting faster and faster. We returned the ball as fast as we could so the other team [could not get] ready,” Greene said.

Walnut began the final set with two points from a missed spike by Wilson and a block by Al Juraishi. At game point, the Wildcats went on a four point run, but were unable to catch up to the Mustangs. The game concluded with a spike from setter junior Sarah Stevenson-Cunday, ending the game at 25-11.

“We were more relaxed [as the game went on]. Once we got into our mindset and showed them what we can really do, we did much better,” right side hitter junior Hana Abdullah said. “We had fun, and that’s what it’s all about.”

By Isaac Le, Staff writer
Photo by Anna Yu