Sophomore libero Zoe Genetos, junior Haylee Holman and sophomore Mia Crowder celebrate winning the point after a long rally against Sacramento Waldorf in a home game on Aug. 23. (Photo by Arijit Trivedi)

Country Day embraces fan energy, wins first-round playoff match

The Country Day varsity volleyball team beat the visiting Stockton Christian Eagles 25-16, 25-12, 26-24 on Oct. 28 during the first round of playoffs. 

During the first two sets, Coach Jason Kreps praised the Cavs’ defense and their ability to be quick on their feet.

Sophomore libero Zoe Genetos had eight digs in the second set and was the defensive anchor of the team.

“I try my best to get the ball in the air so we transition into our offense,” Genetos said. 

Genetos thought the team did a good job switching up their offensive patterns. Instead of slamming the ball straight down or just tipping it over, the Cavs spiked the ball to alternate sides, Genetos said.

The Cavs got complacent in the third set, and the Eagles took immediate advantage of that. 

The Eagles started to get every ball over the net and capitalized on the Cavs’ errors, Kreps said.

“We got too comfortable and started playing down to their level, which was no good for us,” Kreps said.

At one point, the Cavs were down six points and Kreps even saw two of his players start dancing on the court. 

Kreps then called a well-needed timeout. 

During the huddle, Kreps was blunt with players. 

According to Genetos, Kreps told the team that they should be embarrassed with how they were playing and to go back to the fundamentals.

Shortly after the timeout, the Cavs locked their minds in and came back from a seven-point deficit. 

Genetos rallied serve after serve to get the Cavs back in the game with only one thought going through her mind: do not miss. 

With the score being tied 24-24, the Cavs scored two consecutive points to win their first-round playoff game.

Sophomore setter Kaitlyn Dias said the chemistry of the team has come a long way since the beginning of the season, but there are still areas where they need to communicate more. 

“For our next game, we need to work on our timing and getting the ball up when it’s right along the net,” Dias said.

During playoffs, Kreps scouts the opposing teams in advance.

“I found a YouTube video of our opponent playing, so I was able to get an idea of what to expect and what adjustments to make,” Kreps said.

After watching the film, Kreps knew that this was going to be an easier match. The players didn’t have to really work hard to win the first two sets, Kreps said. 

Dias appreciated the large crowd cheering in attendance.

To Kreps, the team could take the fan presence in one of two ways: get nervous or feed off their energy.

“We haven’t had this many spectators cheering us on before, and the team really embraced the energy of the crowd,” Kreps said.

The Cavs’ next game is on Nov. 2 at home against Forest Lake Christian in the Division 6 Sac-Joaquin Section semifinals.

— By Rod Azghadi

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