The girls’ varsity was strong and confident in the first half of their match against Faith Christian on Oct. 5, but barely managed to win their final set, 3-0.
“In the first set we played amazingly well, but as the night progressed, we started lacking in focus,” junior Avi Bhullar said.
In the first set, the Lions passed the ball over on their first touch in almost every play. The Cavs efficiently used quick kills and blocks throughout the set and won, 25-9, in only 12 minutes.
In the second set, the Cavs had more successful kills and blocks, but missed many balls when the Lions passed it over on the first touch. Sophomore Kyra Petersen said that the girls were not as aggressive and didn’t go for those balls because the Lions were not at their level, and the Cavs got too relaxed.
“It’s hard to play teams like this,” Petersen said. “We tend to play down to their level, but we need to really step it up during these times.”
Nevertheless, the Cavs maintained a 5-point lead and won, 25-14.
In the last set, the Cavs really pulled their win out of a hat. From the beginning until the very end, the girls would secure a small lead, only to be dragged back down.
Sophomore setter Annya Dahmani said that they struggled in the final set because passes were not set up well, and they ran out of energy.
“We weren’t putting in a lot of effort,” Dahmani said. “We didn’t put a lot into it, so we didn’t get a lot out.”
Bhullar said that the team’s lack of enthusiasm might have been because the Cavs were thinking about high-school class trips, beginning the next day, instead of the match.
“I think we all had our heads out of the game,” Bhullar said.
At the end, though, the Cavs got their scrappy win, 25-23.
However, most of the crowd’s attention was not focused on the Cavs’ semi-disorganized final set. Instead, the audience was spellbound by co-coach Sarah Song’s chihuahua, Smokey, a tiny, jittery pup who gave out high-pitched yelps during quiet moments before serves.
Petersen said the crowd focused on the pooch more than the players because the game wasn’t very interesting.
“Smokey can be our mascot!” Petersen said.
The Cavs play Faith again in late October.
The girls’ next match will be on Oct. 13 at 6 p.m. at Burbank against the Cristo Rey Saints, who have a record of 3-6. The Cavs beat the Saints, 3-0, last month.
Because of class trips, the girls will not have practice or compete for a week. Dahmani said that she is a little worried about the break, but feels better that their first game back will be against Cristo Rey.
“(Cristo Rey) is not a major competitor,” Dahmani said, “so we will be able to make up for all the time we waste and get reps for upcoming, strong teams.”
Petersen said that she thinks the break will be beneficial.
“We get to rest up,” Petersen said, “And then we’ll come back and be ready for the rest of the season!”
—By Sonja Hansen