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Varsity volleyball falls to West Covina

Volleyball lost 2-3 in a home league game against West Covina Monday, Sept. 17.

West Covina started the game with a 3-point run, which ended when setter freshman Aubrey Tanner blocked a hit, for Walnut’s first point of the game. Later in the set, libero junior Jasmyn Domingo dove to reach a hit from West Covina and passed it to outside hitter junior Amber Johnson who set the pass from Domingo to defensive specialist sophomore Lily Rzonca. Rzonca hit it over and secured a point for Walnut. West Covina returned a serve from Walnut under the net for Walnut to win the set 27-25.

“I like home games a lot because you obviously feel more comfortable, and you get to listen to music when you warm up and stuff. It’s really fun, and I like to get really hyped up during home games,” middle blocker junior Riley Hoff said.

In the second set, three of the Mustangs’ points came from the Bulldogs serving into the net. Outside hitter sophomore Michelle Zhao served three consecutive aces to give Walnut an early  lead. However, late in the set the Bulldogs went on a four-point run to win the set 21-25.

“If we have knowledge about the team previously then we can make our adjustments before the game, but if we don’t then we play and then adjust to their needs,” Rzonca said.

West Covina won the third set 23-25. Blocks from middle blocker junior Lauren Ghibaudo and right outside senior Hana Abdullah prevented West Covina from scoring during the middle of the set. A three-point run by West Covina brought the score to 20-21 and West Covina kept the lead for the continuation of the set, bringing the game to 1-2. The Mustangs went on a ten-point run to start the fourth set. After a few rallies, a serve by Johnson went unreturned by the Bulldogs, winning the set for the Mustangs 25-10.

“It’s more intense and a little bit stressful [when you play to five sets], but I really like to get mad because I strive off of that and can use it to my advantage,” Hoff said.

In the fifth and last set, Walnut and West Covina kept the score close. The score was tied at nine different instances during the set. However, West Covina pulled ahead in the last minute and won the set 13-15.

“We always feel better when we win, but when we lose it’s like ‘Oh, it’s okay, we’ll do better next time.’ We take it as a learning experience,” Zhao said. “The next game we’ll see if we can make any adjustments or improve on certain things like offense or defense.”

By Bhalpriya Sandhu, Sports editor
Photo by Isaac Le