After a 45-minute trip to Placerville, the varsity volleyball team beat the El Dorado Adventist Eagles in their gym, 3-1, on Oct. 18.
This was Country Day’s first league match against El Dorado Adventist.
But it wasn’t an easy win, as there were many factors that were not in the Cavs’ favor, starting with the gym.
Senior Kaeleigh Valverde said that the gym was unusually cold. And sophomore Tori Van Vleck said it was also so large that the team’s depth perception was thrown off.
The gym and its equipment were not in good shape, which affected scoring. “Their net was loose,” Van Vleck said.
“Every time something hit the net it would roll over to the other side, where usually it (is) 50/50: drop or go over.”
“It was really rundown looking,” Valverde said.
“The ground where the pole is placed was just covered in tape, and the net (usually made of plastic) was fabric or cloth or something.”
All these factors led to their shaky beginning and an eight-point deficit.
“We were taken off guard a little bit,” captain Alexa Mathisen said.
Sophomore Heidi Johnson agreed.
“We started off weak with some bad passes,” Johnson said.
In fact, according to sophomore Bella Mathisen, hitting also proved to be one of their major difficulties.
This rough beginning, as well as senior Isabelle Leavy’s absence, made coaches Sarah Song and Jason Kreps switch the lineup.
Mathisen, for example, played hitter instead of her regular setter position.
Despite their deficit in the beginning, the Cavs ending up snagging the first set, 25-15.
The Cavs also pulled off the second set, 25-22.
But they lost the third, 25-19.
“In the fourth game, it went back and forth, but by the end (it) was really competitive,” Mathisen said.
According to players, serves were a strength.
“We earned a lot of points through our serves,” Valverde said.
“But we were really slacking on our defense. Our back row was weak that game, and that’s probably the reason why we lost the third set.”
Since the Eagles’ crowd was made up of only two children, the kids’ enthusiasm amused the Cavs.
“They were running the entrance and snack bar, but they were quite loud,” Gupta said.
“They knew only one cheer, which was, ‘Let’s go, Eagles,” and they kept repeating it, making a lot of us laugh.”
Gupta said the girls counted 58 chants from the kids in one set.
Van Vleck said that this kept the girls “upbeat.”
With Gupta and Mathisen in different positions the entire set, the girls triumphed, 25-13.
Although they disrupted the Eagles’ flight pattern once, the Cavs will face El Dorado in future sports this year since they are now part of Country Day’s league division.
The girls are now focusing on strategies for their upcoming playoffs, when they will face more experienced teams.
The final league game is against Sacramento Adventist in the Sacramento Adventist gym in Carmichael on Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 6 p.m.
—By Chardonnay Needler