Varsity volleyball league champs go down fighting in semi-finals
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The varsity volleyball team became league champions for the first time in school history after their win against Sacramento Adventist Academy on Nov. 3.
“It was a great way to end my last varsity season,” senior Jenny Kerbs said.
The Cavs had a perfect league record, 12-0, (an overall record of 21-4) and won every set. The girls also made it to sectionals in playoffs.
Head coach Jason Kreps and assistant coach Sarah Song said that the team was so successful because the majority of girls compete both in and out of school.
“There is a good combination of girls who are committed to doing a lot outside of school,” Kreps said. “They don’t just rely on school athletics to get better.”
The Cavs will receive T-shirts and a blue pennant that says “league champions.”
Before playoffs began, junior Kaeleigh Valverde said that although the Cavs played easy teams during their league season, they would be well prepared for challenging playoff teams.
“We train like we were playing tough teams in practice,” Valverde said.
At every practice, the Cavs built up their endurance through intense workouts that kept the girls moving all the time.
Leading up to playoffs, they also ran more complex situational drills requiring them to respond with new offensive and defensive plays.
Ready for a challenge, the Cavs faced the Victory Christian Vikings in the first round of playoffs, Nov. 12. The Cavalier starters had several long, easy serving runs and effortlessly sped through the match to win, 3-0.
“They weren’t a very competitive team,” senior captain Sydney Michel said.
However, the Cavs’ semi-final playoff match against the Stone Ridge Christian Knights, at Jackson Sports Academy on McClellan Air Force Base, was a different story.
Unable to play at their home gym because of renovations, the girls practiced and planned to play at Mather Sports Complex.
However the court at Mather was not regulation size, so athletic director Matt Vargo rented Jackson Sports Academy at the last minute.
Nevertheless, the girls came out strong. The Cavs won the first set, 25-21, although team errors, such as being out of rotation and contacting the net, cost them several points.
“We deserved (the calls),” freshman Bella Mathisen said. “It’s frustrating, but we were trying really hard.”
After falling behind and losing the second set, 15-25, the Cavs cleared their heads and tried to keep their passing in more control to take back their win. Possession of the ball went back and forth for the majority of the set, but a couple net violations led to another Cavalier loss, 24-26.
In their final set, the girls, their enthusiasm draining, lost badly, 11-25.
“The end of the season was definitely bittersweet,” sophomore Kyra Petersen said. “We worked so hard for months.”
“Hopefully next year (the team) can take it all the way because they are all very talented players,” Kerbs said.
The Cavs’ Fall Sports Banquet will be on Tuesday, Dec. 15.
—By Sonja Hansen