After six matches and 13 hours of play, the girls’ varsity volleyball team placed third in the highest bracket at the Carmichael Invitational Tournament, Sept. 26.

The Cavs finally fell in their semi-final match against Mercy High School from Burlingame. SCDS won the first set, but lost the second and third. Sophomore Annya Dahmani blames their loss on exhaustion.

“I don’t think we’ve ever played so much volleyball in one day,” Dahmani said. “Everyone was really tired, and the communication wasn’t there.”

Sophomore Yasmin Gupta agreed that the girls were too tired to get their win.

“(We) couldn’t push through (the match),” Gupta said, “but I’m so proud of how far we made it, especially because there were a lot of big schools, like St. Mary’s, El Camino (and) Mesa Verde, even though it was a small-school tournament.”

The girls finally left the tournament at around 8 p.m.

They arrived at Jackson Sports Academy at 7:20 a.m. and then had two back-to-back matches.

The Cavs first defeated Immaculate Conception Academy from San Francisco, 2-0, and then East Nicolaus High School from Nicolaus, 2-0.

All of the matches were best out of three sets instead of five because they needed to be fast.

“The first two (matches) went very well,” Dahmani said. “They were pretty easy teams.”

After a break of less than an hour, the Cavs went back to play Mesa Verde High School.

After beating Mesa Verde, 2-1, the Cavs reffed the match between East Nicolaus and Immaculate Conception at around 1:30 p.m.

Then the Cavs had a break while they were placed in the highest bracket, the red bracket, where it was single-elimination.

In their first round of bracket play, the Cavs went up against against the Athenian School from Danville. The Cavs came close to losing, but shot ahead by just a bit at the end, 25-23. In the second set, the Cavs maintained a larger lead and won the match, 2-0.

In the quarter finals, the Cavs faced Live Oak High School from Morgan Hill and won, 2-1.

At last year’s tournament on Sept. 27, the Cavs placed 12th and played only four matches.

Throughout the day, the girls went in and out of a VIP suite that co-coach Jason Kreps had reserved for them. The suite had a TV, which the girls did not use, and chairs and tables, but the girls lay on the floor instead.

In previous years, the Cavs would set up a tent in the parking lot and hang out there in between matches.

“We were always stuck outside in the sun,” Gupta said.

Dahmani said that the team really benefitted from participating in the tournament because the Cavs won’t be having practice on Monday, Sept. 28, or Tuesday, Sept. 29, due to a scheduling complication with the PSAT tutoring course being offered all week.

“This was basically our practice for the game against Buckingham on Wednesday,” Dahmani said. “We also had a lot of good reps, and I think it was a good experience for us to play teams we don’t usually play.”

Senior Sydney Michel agreed.

“We worked together really well, and, even when we were exhausted, we kept on pushing each other and winning for each other,” Michel said.

The Cavs’ next game will be Wednesday, Sept. 30, at 6 p.m. at Vaca Pena Middle School in Vacaville against the Buckingham Knights, who were 0-5 at press time.

—By Sonja Hansen

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