Not even a lockdown could stop the JV volleyball team from their second win of the season against the Valley Christian Lions on Sept. 7.
At 3:45 p.m., the entire school was placed on lockdown due to a robbery at Loehmann’s Plaza and a suspect on the loose in the surrounding area.
JV volleyball players were confined in the equipment room in the gym, preventing them from warming up until the lockdown was lifted at 4:15 p.m (see full story here).
Players on both teams then had only 10 minutes to warm up before the start of the game at 4:30 p.m.
“Our girls were definitely a little shaken up,” coach Sarah Song said.
“We had several players in lockdown in a different building, so we had to start the game process without them.”
Both of Valley Christian’s volleyball teams remained in their vans until the lockdown was lifted.
Sophomore Naomi Cohen was one of those players locked in a separate building as she was viewing the art show at the time of the lockdown.
“I think the lockdown definitely affected us because we had very little time to warm up,” she said.
“(Sophomore Elise Sommerhaug) and I were locked in the MP Room, so we had even less time. We just had to get out there and start hitting balls”
The Cavs started out the first set behind and were down most for most of the set. However, by the end of the set, the Cavs had regained some momentum, but they couldn’t catch up to the Lady Lions, lost the set 22-25.
“We were just kind of out of it when we first started,” Cohen said.
“But once we got back into our groove, we started to tighten up our passes and communicated more.”
Junior Anu Krishnan agreed.
“We were a little thrown off from the lockdown, so we took a while to get back into the game,” she said.
“But once we did, we were able to push back and get the score to within three points.”
Song also noted that the girls were “flat” and simply not loose during the first set.
Contrary to the first set, the Cavs started the second set out strong with an ace by Cohen, bringing up the energy of the team and the score to 4-2.
The Lions quickly caught up however, tying the Cavs at 7-7.
After a long rally, sophomore Allie Bogetich hit a hard ball in the back left corner, pushing the Cavs ahead to 8-7.
The crowd, filled with students and parents due to the Sports Boosters’ Chili Cook Off, began to shout words of encouragement for the team.
“That’s ok, guys – keep it up!” senior Brandy Riziki shouted as the Lions scored a point.
The Cavs quickly returned with a save of an outside ball by freshman Vanessa Escobar.
The Cavs continued to go back and forth with the Lions, though they struggled to call the ball.
“(Freshman) Sicily (Schroeder), you gotta talk!” Song shouted.
Krishnan added that the team could keep improving on “talking and calling the ball and controlling our serves and hits.”
Despite the lack of communication, the Cavs pushed through the set, expanding their lead from 16-11 to 20-13 with the help of Cohen’s multiple serving runs.
Escobar finished off the second set for the Cavs at the service line, leading the Cavs to a 25-16 win.
With the score tied 1-1, the Cavs needed to keep their momentum into the third set to pull out the win, according to Cohen.
“We had a lot of energy and just continued to use that energy in the third set,” she said.
The Cavs started the set off strong again, winning the first two points.
The Cavs kept up their lead, bringing the score up to 9-5 with a tip by Bogetich.
The Cavs pace and intensity increased, and they finished off the set with a 15-7 win over the Lions.
“We just knew we could win,” Krishnan said.
“We had won our last game, and we simply had to believe in ourselves to win, which we did.”
Despite the Cavs’ win, Cohen said the team still has room for improvement.
“We can still really work on getting the ball to the setter, so we can set up better hits,” Cohen said.
The biggest area of improvement, according to Song, is communication.
“Accidents happen when two girls charge for the ball and don’t call each other off,” Song said.
“We have a few very vocal players, and a few players who are not. It would be really nice if those quieter players could come out of their shells and be a powerful voice on the court. That would improve everyone’s gameplay.”
The Cavs hope to take their third win of the season against Cristo Rey on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 6 p.m. at the St. Francis Armory.
—By Jack Christian