Girls’ varsity volleyball places third in tournament while playing in new rotation due to injured and absent players

Of the 16 teams in an all-day non-league tournament on Sat. Sept, 24, Country Day placed third.

Their first match, which was against Esparto High School, began at 8:45 a.m. The girls defeated them, 25-13 and 25-9.

Shortly after was their victory against River City, 25-15, 21-25 and 15-4, followed by their win against Foresthill, 25-16 and 25-20, and their triumph over Center High School, 25-23 and 25-14.  

Senior captain Alexa Mathisen described this type of tournament as a “round robin.”

“We had a four-team pool, which is just a round robin, and everyone (that’s in it) plays everyone,” Mathisen said.

“Then the top two teams from that go to the championship bracket, while the others go to another bracket. Then it’s just single elimination from there.”

“We were seeded fourth, (thus) last, in our pool, but won all our games and advanced to the gold bracket,” sophomore Heidi Johnson said.

There, they lost to Vacaville Christian, 20-25 and 12-25.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only loss.  

In that final game, freshman Briana Davies badly injured her knee after diving for a ball and bumping into teammate sophomore Tori Van Vleck.

She was rushed to the Sutter emergency room, where she was still receiving treatment on Sunday.

According to Davies, the doctor didn’t see any obvious signs of specific injuries.

Davies went to her primary care physician on Mon. Sept 26, and will get an MRI sometime this week.

This injury shook the positions up a little in the second set, as Mathisen left for an appointment and junior Yasmin Gupta wasn’t at the tournament.

Junior Annya Dahmani became the only setter and that sophomore Bella Mathisen played in a different position.

This, as well as other factors, contributed to their much larger loss in the second set.  

“It was just a culmination of it being the end of the day, only having one setter and having a different lineup,” Johnson said.

“During the day we were better at starting off with more energy and (weren’t) being (as) flat. We also started to place our hits and tips into holes instead of just whaling at the ball.”

Nevertheless, this was a day of learning for the Cavs.

“It doesn’t count for anything playoff-wise, so everyone really focused on trying new things, getting better and having fun,” Mathisen said.

The Cavs’ next game is at home on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 6 p.m.

Another game that they had to change their positions around in was against the El Dorado Adventist Eagles.

This was the first time Country Day played El Dorado Adventist, so the girls said did not know what to expect.

Nevertheless, the Cavs beat the El Dorado Adventist Eagles, 3-1, on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

“We went into the game thinking they were a much weaker team, but (they) actually turned out to be good and a good competitor for us,” Gupta said.

“We were (caught) off guard a little bit,” Mathisen added.

The Cavs started out the first set with an eight-point deficit, but eventually pulled it together to win, 25-16.

The next set, the Cavs started out better, but ended slightly worse, 25-18.

The third set proved to be the most problematic, as they had a different lineup and Mathisen played hitter and not her usual position as setter.

Even out of their comfort zone, it seemed towards the end of the match that they were going to seize victory, 3-0. They were up, 22-17.

But the Eagles swooped back in toward the very end, winning the set, 27-25.

According to Mathisen, the crowd (primarily Eagles) was very and vocally supportive during the final set.

“The crowd was cheering, and we battled,” Mathisen said.

“They caused us to buckle down, play harder and get more practice for future, more competitive games.”

In the last set, the Cavs narrowly took the win, 25-23.

This was the first of the Eagles, but it won’t be the last.

“I imagine they’ll be showing up in basketball and soccer as well,” Mathisen said.

By Chardonnay Needler

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