Varsity volleyball falls to Duarte

Varsity volleyball lost to Duarte 1-3 on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at home, bringing its overall record to 13-4.

The Mustangs’ offense was led by outside hitter senior Janell Currier, who made seven hits, four tips and two aces. Right side hitter junior Hana Abdullah led the defense, completing six out of the team’s 13 blocks.

Duarte started off the first set with a five point run. Despite Walnut tying the game at 12-12 with a spike from outside hitter freshman Michelle Zhao, the set ended 17-25 to Duarte. In the second set, Walnut won two rallies and made five blocks. Maintaining its lead throughout the game, the Mustangs ended the set 25-19.

“We covered a lot and our defense did really well. We [also] had a lot of rallies. They were tough rallies but we pushed through them,” setter freshman Eliza Santos Cristobal said. “I think we can improve on communicating with each other and just giving more motivation to one another.”

During the third set, the Mustangs took the lead with four hits and a block. However, the Falcons were able to close the four-point gap after three consecutive hits from the Mustangs landed out of bounds. Tied at 21-21, Duarte went on a four-point run to win its second set.

“I think we did very well when it came to passing and blocking. But, we can still improve on our consistency. We just need to work and focus on our placement when we hit,” right front sophomore Amber Johnson said.

The fourth and final set was closely tied, with the lead changing five times. Although the Mustangs took the lead in the first half of the set, a series of mishits and failed serves resulted in the Falcons tying the game at 14-14. After an ace from middle blocker senior Aya Al Juraishi and a tip from Currier, Walnut regained its lead and went on a four point run. Rallying back and forth, the set ended 22-25 after three unreturned hits by Duarte.

“The last set was very intense and [it was] a challenging game all in all,” middle blocker senior Savannah Handy said. “We were just trying to stay positive during the whole game and not [lose] hope. It’s a new team that we’ve never played [with] before, [but] I’m confident that things will work out for the better.”

By Sarah Aie, Sports editor
Photo by Anna Yu

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