The girls’ varsity volleyball team creamed Cristo Rey, 3-0, on Friday, Sept. 18.
The Saints won the coin toss and chose to serve first.
In the first play of the match, senior co-captain Sydney Michel tipped the ball over the head of a Saint blocker and won the point.
In the first set, the Cavs’ coaches kept their normal starting line-up with a few subs, but quickly pulled them in and out. The Cavs won the set, 25-10.
In the second set, sophomore Katia Dahmani, the Cavs’ libero, did not get subbed in at all, but coaches Sarah Song and coach Jason Kreps subbed in almost every other player. The Cavs won easily, 25-11.
In the final set, the Cavs won, 25-11.
Junior Alexa Mathisen, the setter and co-captain, was the only one to play the entire match.
The Saints seldom jumped for the ball or kept it in front of them when they prepared for a spike, so often their hits went straight into the net. The Saints’ front-row players also rarely went up to the net to block on defense, which meant they were caught off guard and scrambled for the ball whenever it came back over.
Several times, the Cavs spiked the ball too hard and didn’t snap their wrists to angle the ball down, so the ball went straight toward the back of the court and went out.
During warm-up, there were only a few Cavalier fans – and the JV volleyball team members, who help referee home matches – in the bleachers. After the boys’ soccer game on the field ended, more spectators came in.
However throughout the match, the crowd was unusually quiet, despite the bleachers being almost filled to capacity. The crowd’s soft chatting was like something seen at a church, instead of an intense volleyball match. There were only one or two encouraging shouts from teachers Bruce Baird and Patricia Jacobsen.
The Saints’ fans were not much more enthusiastic, but after the match, everyone on the Saints’ side made a giant bridge with their hands and had their girls run through while they cheered their names. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers’ crowd quickly and quietly fled the gym.
Throughout the school day, most of the varsity volleyball girls wore the tie-dye shirts that they’d made at their team sleepover, Sept. 12. Dahmani said that the girls plan on wearing their tie-dye shirts, warm-up jerseys or uniform tops at school on every game day.
Before the game, freshman Bella Mathisen and sophomore Kyra Petersen said that they had low expectations for Cristo Rey.
“I’ve heard that they’re not one of the best teams in the league and that we’ve got a good chance of beating them,” Mathisen said. “We might win in three (sets).”
“In the past, Cristo Rey has not been a highly competitive team,” Petersen said.
Petersen and Mathisen were right. Last season, the Cavs beat the Saints twice.
Kreps said that because he expected Cristo Rey to pose no real threat, he would play the girls who have not been played as much this season.
A few days before the game, Kreps told Bella Mathisen that she would most likely get more playing time in this game.
“I’m excited because it’s fun to be able to play,” Mathisen said before the game. “We cheer on the bench and support each other, but obviously it’s more exciting to be a part of the game.”
“(The subs) have been working really hard in practice, so I believe they can take down the other team easily,” Petersen said.
While the teams warmed up before the game, Saints’ coach Enrique Garcia said that he hoped that the girls had fun and played their best.
“Our biggest strength is teamwork,” Garcia said. “The girls have bonded very well this season.”
This is Garcia’s first year coaching at Cristo Rey, but he has also coached at Our Lady of Guadalupe and in River City.
Sophomore Brenda Alegria stayed for the entire match and filmed the Cavs. Alegria is making a video for the Homecoming pep rally on Friday, Oct. 23, that will feature clips from most of the girls’ matches.
The Saints now have an overall record of 1-4, while the Cavs’ record is 3-1.
The Cavs will play Cristo Rey again in October.
The Cavs’ next match will be on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 6 p.m. at home against the Wilton Christian Patriots, who are currently 0-1.
—By Sonja Hansen