Girls Varsity Volleyball outlasts Branson in four sets

Max Josef

Junior setter Mari Molina sets the ball to one her teammates during their game vs Branson on Sept. 25
Junior setter Mari Molina sets the ball to one her teammates during their game vs Branson on Sept. 25

The Redwood girls’ varsity volleyball team played the Branson Bulls on Friday, Sept. 25 at the College of Marin. Redwood defeated the Bulls in 4 sets, with scores of 27-29, 25-23, 25-9, and 25-17, respectively.

Redwood’s team has been highly successful in the past––it won the North Coast Section (NCS) Division 2 title for the past two years, and is ranked seventh in California, first in the NCS, and 50th nationally. Yet it has not been able to win the MCAL championship since 2010, most recently due to the defending champion Bulls.

Though Branson students outnumbered the Redwood fans, the players did not let the noise affect their game.

“They had a much larger fan base at the game but we had strong supporters,” said junior outside hitter McKenzie Cooke. “I think that we were able to block out the noise so it didn’t really have an effect on us, positive or negative.”

In the first set, the Bulls took a quick 7-2 lead before Redwood stormed back to tie it. The teams went back and forth, point for point, most of the game before Branson took two points at the end to win 29-27.

“The nerves took over in the first set, it motivated us because we knew we could do better than we did,” said junior setter Mari Molina.

Redwood started the second game with a big lead and never looked back, winning the set 25-23.

“[Our coach] told us to pick it up and that there was no reason we couldn’t do it,” Cooke said, referring to her coach’s words between sets. “We came out and we were finally confident.”

In the third game, Redwood used the momentum it gained in the previous game to take the set 25-9.

“We had nothing to lose after the first set, and that mindset helped us succeed for the rest of the match,” said senior Marguerite Spaethling, team captain.

In the fourth and final game, Redwood displayed consistent passing to the setter, and had many kills.

“I have never seen us play defense so well before. It was really fun to watch,” Molina said.

The girls’ varsity team plays their next game against San Rafael at Redwood on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 6 p.m.