(Graphic by Larkin Barnard-Bahn and Jackson Crawford)
The host Country Day volleyball team ended the season with a 25-12, 25-10, 25-23 loss to Western Sierra, undefeated in the Sacramento Metropolitan Athletic League, on Oct. 24.
Coach Jason Kreps wasn’t at the match until the beginning of the third set because he was coaching a middle school volleyball playoff match. Junior varsity coach Aleitha Burns replaced him in the first two sets.
“I came in, and they came straight over to me, and they are like, ‘We’re fired up; we’re playing well,’” Kreps said.
“That third (set) I think they played as well as they could. They were playing together (and) were having fun. They were making some great hits and some great defensive plays.
“In that match, I think it was really all of them (who did well).”
Senior right side Alyssa Valverde agreed.
“We all played really well. We all (were thinking), ‘This is the last match, so let’s just play and have fun,’” she said.
Senior Jackson Margolis, president of the Fan Club, said the match’s “energy was really high.”
“You could tell that some of the people had been here a long time; there was a lot of emotional support,” he said.
The Cavs finished 10-15 overall and fifth in the nine-team SMAL with a 5-9 record.
Team captain Senior Jewel Turner said she has come a long way at Country Day.
“I came in my freshman year not knowing what volleyball was, basically – never touched a ball before. The coaches and my teammates got me to a point where now I am playing club (volleyball) and going to nationals and having the best time of my life,” Turner said.
Senior Savannah Rosenzweig praised Kreps for his support.
“He never gave up on us and always pushed us. He has invested so much in our lives. I’m so lucky to have had a coach that inspired me every day to be better than the day before,” Rosenweig said.
Valverde said she will try to play in college but that it will depend on where she goes. After playing club volleyball for the rest of the year, Turner said she expects to play in college. Rosenzweig said she plans to try out for college volleyball or play on an intramural team. Senior Naomi Turnbull said she will not play in college.
Kreps said he enjoyed coaching the team.
“I love winning, but winning isn’t everything. When you have good people — just good athletes that want to compete for you — that’s the best thing you can ask for,” Kreps said.
—By Sicily Schroeder