The junior varsity girls’ volleyball team made it all the way to championships in the bronze bracket at the Carmichael Invitational Tournament, Sept. 19.

The Cavs beat Sacramento Waldorf and Cornerstone Christian but lost to the Golden Sierra Grizzlies, 9-15, in the third set of the championship round.

“All the parents were super hyped,” co-captain sophomore Sonja Hansen said. “A couple had to leave (because) they were freaking out.”

The JV volleyball girls take a break after a loss to the Granite Bay Grizzlies in the third set of the championship round for the bronze bracket of the Carmichael Invitational Tournament Sept. 19. In between games, the girls played cards, did homework and enjoyed food from the potluck the parents put on.

(Photo by Deborah Hansen)
The JV volleyball girls take a break after their loss to the Golden Sierra Grizzlies in the third set of the championship round in the bronze bracket of the Carmichael Invitational Tournament Sept. 19. In between games, the girls played cards, did homework and enjoyed food from the potluck the parents put on. From left to right, the sitting players are freshman Heidi Johnson, freshman Tori Van Vleck, sophomore Sonja Hansen, freshman Kyra LaFitte, freshman Lia Kaufman, freshman Chloe Collinwood and freshman Bella Mathisen. Standing are freshman Bianca Hansen and coach Kristi Mathisen.

At the beginning of the tournament, the teams were put into different pools and played other teams in their pool. After pool play, depending on how they played, the teams were placed in either the gold, silver or bronze bracket.

Because the Cavs lost the first three matches in pool play, they were placed in the bronze bracket.

According to freshman Tori Van Vleck, SCDS was in a tough pool in the beginning.

One of the teams in that tough pool was Christian Brothers.

“They’re way above our level and totally smashed us,” Hansen said.

Freshman co-captain Lia Kaufman said that the team played much better once they got into bracket, especially at serve receive.

Van Vleck said she was proud of the way the team played throughout the tournament.

“I think we played really well,” she said. “Especially because we played the (Christian Brothers) JV team and had 15 three-touch plays, which is good for us.”

According to both Kaufman and Van Vleck, three-touch plays were a major strength.

“As we went through the game, we started getting a lot better at serve receive and three-touch plays,” Kaufman said. “All the balls that were served over were (passed) up perfectly to me for it to be a great three-touch play.”

Van Vleck agreed with Kaufman.

“We did well with our kills and three-touch plays, and stayed positive almost the whole time,” she added. “(We) hardly let anything drop.”

However, there are still things that they need to work on, Van Vleck and Kaufman said.

“I think that the team could improve on our rescue balls,” Kaufman said. “Coach (Kristi) Mathisen always says to play defense first, so when I dig a ball, there needs to be someone there to get it and set it up. We really need to work on that.”

Van Vleck said the team also needs to communicate more and work on returning tips.

But Hansen was pleased that the team did better than last year.

“I think we got further because a lot of the freshmen have played volleyball outside of Country Day,” she said.

“We have a lot of natural athletes, like (freshman) Heidi (Johnson), who is good at like every sport ever played.”

Hansen added that the team didn’t think about their mistakes too much.

“Kristi said that volleyball is 90 percent mental,” she said. “If you have a bad mindset and keep beating yourself up about every little mistake you make, then you’re not going to be able to concentrate on the game.”

At the tournament, freshman Bella Mathisen, who is on the varsity, played with the JV.

The next game will be at home against Cornerstone Christian School on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 5 p.m.

It will be Cornerstone Christian’s first official game of the season.

—By Annya Dahmani

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