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2023 Girls’ Varsity Volleyball Recap
Abigail Tan | Senior Captain
The 2023 Girls’ Varsity Volleyball season had sprung into action with only five returning players, leaving many spots open to underclassmen. Building good team chemistry took time, dating back pre-season to the summer, but it all eventually fell into place for our success. After blowing a 2-0 lead against Redwood Christian to open the season, we learned the hard way the focus needed to execute well on the court. This experience was the catalyst for our 13-match winning streak.
After a back-and-forth game against Hayward High, we were victorious, winning the match, 3-1. It really set the tone for the rest of the games proving that no matter the deficit, there is always a chance to rally and use that as fuel moving forward. It allowed us to showcase the improvement that every player was bound to undergo, despite our positions still in flux. After our opening league match, we soon realized that most other schools were rebuilding and that would give us the opportunity to compete at a high level while refining our skills. This consistency and confidence helped us win 15-straight sets.
As our win streak continued, playoffs began to take focus and priority. Coach Lim gave us the rundown of his expectations for playoffs and what we needed to work on to compete at a higher level. This is where the connection between the pins and the middles began to grow. The outside hitters began learning to hit tempo sets such as huts and shoots, while the middles were working on ones, threes, and sometimes slides. As for our back row, they improved their reading and reactions of the ball on defense. We hit a small setback, falling on the road to Quarry Lane, but that helped us refocus on the task at hand – winning the BCL Championship and heading into NCS on a high note.
We defeated Making Waves on Senior Night and swept them the following week in the BCL semifinals. After an undefeated league season, we were the heavy favorite against California School of the Deaf. It wasn’t easy, but we came out on top 3-1, bringing the trophy back to Ram territory for the second straight season. Sophomore Adalie Miller and I received All-Team Tournament for our performances, and senior Isabella Wong was awarded the Tournament MVP.
Following our BCL Championship, we earned the two-seed in NCS Championships and received a first round bye. During our week of practice, we heavily focused on defense as the coaches believed that our offense was already solid. We spent half the practice just on side shuffling and passes, while the other half was all serve-receive. Though tedious, it was necessary as it paid off during playoffs.
Playing Calistoga was no problem, though they had a respectable defense, we were able to capitalize on the “free balls”. In the semifinals, we faced Mendocino for the third straight season, hoping to change the result of the previous two. In the end, we pulled out the match in four, advancing to the NCS finals for the first time in school history. Our reward was a five hour drive to Eureka to take on top seeded St. Bernard’s Academy. Injuries forced us into a different starting lineup, but we still competed at a high level, but ultimately came up short.
Altogether, our season was a blast. There was a lot of learning and chemistry to be built in a short amount of time, but everybody was able to contribute their part to the team and it showed on the court. We all had our moments, experienced the ups and downs, but in the end, we are all so proud of each other, and enjoyed our extremely successful season.