Varsity volleyball moves on to second round of CIF

Varsity volleyball defeated Heritage High School 3-1 in the first round of the California Interscholarship Federation (CIF) Wednesday, Oct. 23 at an away game.

The Mustangs took an early lead in the first set with a three-point serving run from defensive specialist senior Alondra Feria, leading to the Patriots calling a timeout at 10-3. Following a save made by libero freshman Angelina Rodriguez, the Mustangs scored a point to take the team to set point 24-12. After an unforced error by the Patriots, hitting the ball into the net, the Mustangs took the first set 25-12.

“I was a little nervous but I think I had a lot of energy, and I wanted to play hard because it was a long drive to get there,” setter junior Eliza Cristobal said. “[It] was a really important game for us [and] our energy [helped us] to do well in our game.” 

In the second set, the Mustangs lost the first three points of the game. The Mustangs tied up the game after a kill from Tanner and two aces from Cristobal. In the first half of the set, both teams scored points one after the other, reaching 8-8. The Mustangs regained a lead after outside hitter senior Amber Johnson had a serving run with a few aces as Tanner had some kills, leading the score to be 14-9. Tanner had a five-point serving run toward the end of the set with an ace to finish the second set 25-14.

“I was really nervous for the entire game since we knew that the team that we would be playing was undefeated in their league,” middle blocker senior Emily Chan said. “Even though we had won the first set through experience, we have learned that we can never underestimate a team and let our guard down.” 

With a serve from Cristobal and a kill from Johnson on the outside, the Mustangs scored the first point for set three 1-0. The Mustangs gained a three-point lead 7-4 after the Patriots served a ball into the net. However, the Patriots tied up the score 8-8 after a kill from their outside, and they secured their first lead of the set 10-11 after getting another kill. Pulling ahead from 15-20, the Mustangs regained their first lead 22-21 after Johnson had two digs and Tanner ended the rally with a block. The two teams exchanged points before the Patriots ultimately ended the set 23-25. 

“When we lost [the third set], It was like it kind of like [we] let the game go,” Rodriguez said. “I think we all kind of played a little lazy in [the] third set [because] we thought we were going to win, [but] then we didn’t.”

The Mustangs led the fourth set 4-0 with a four-point serving run by Feria. Following an ace, Feria missed her serve resulting in the Patriots receiving the point. The Mustangs regained possession of the ball 5-1 after Johnson scored with a kill. Later in the set, Tanner served an ace, resulting in the Patriots calling a timeout at 13-4. With a final kill, Tanner ended the fourth and last set 25-11, punching them a ticket to round two of CIF.

“I thought it was a really good game, and I thought it was one of the best games we’ve played. I was really excited and really happy and proud of my team,” Tanner said. “For me personally [the best of the game] is getting the final point to win the game. When I got that final point, I felt really happy and excited because that was the first time I had ever gone to CIF and knowing that I had that big of an impact was really cool.”

Varsity Volleyball will play Schurr High School for round two of CIF 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 at home.

By Freda Lei, Staff writer
Photo by Freda Lei