Girls’ volleyball suffers heartbreaking loss to Branson

Douglas Pardella

The crowd held their breath as junior Hannah Gerson leapt into the air and laid a stinging slap to the volleyball that echoed throughout the gymnasium, which was immediately followed by a Branson block, shooting the ball onto the Redwood side of the court.

Those types of points repeated themselves a few too many times for the varsity volleyball team as they lost in four games against the Bulls on Friday in Ross.

After a dominant win over San Rafael on Wednesday, the Giants were looking to improve their 11-3 overall record despite knowing they would be facing the 7-0 Bulls who have won the state championship the past three years.

Junior Sophie DiGrazia taps the volleyball over the net in the middle of the second game on Friday in Ross.

“We came in and knew it was going to be tough,” junior Rachael Thorson said. “We wanted to take it to them and work our hardest, because they beat us in the MCAL finals last year.”

Captains Alexa Bacchus and Lauren Smith helped the Giants build an 11-9 lead in the first game, but Branson quickly ran away with the game and won 25-15.

The Giants retaliated though, controlling most of the second game until their lead peaked at 22-17.

“We came in after losing the second game and we got really fired up and motivated and we knew that we were going to win the third one,” Thorson said.

Setting the ball, junior Sierra Dawson (#10) attempts to connect with her teammate Lauren Smith for a spike.

The Giants turned the third game around despite an early Branson lead and won their first game of the night 25-23.

Junior Hannah Gerson spikes the ball over the net in the third game against Branson.

However,  Branson put the game away as they defeated Redwood 25-16 in the final game, winning the overall match three games to one.

Thorson said that the team was angered by the loss, and looks forward to their rematch on Oct. 23.

“We’re going to work even harder at practice, and be even more focused and motivated. When we face Branson in a few weeks we’re going to take it to them and win.”

The team next faces Tam next Monday, Sept. 24.