Girls’ varsity volleyball advances to NCS semifinal

Max Josef

The girls’ varsity volleyball team beat the Newark Memorial Cougars today and advanced to the NCS Semifinal in three sets, 25-16, 25-17, 25-12.  The Giants were ranked as the top seed and the Cougars were ranked as the ninth seed in NCS Division II.

The Giants were led by outside hitters senior Elly Lundberg and junior Mckenzie Cooke as well as senior libero Lily Barber.

“I thought we came in not as pumped up as we should have been. We should have amped it up before because I think we have the ability to beat these teams by more than we did,” Lundberg said. “Starting Monday, our practices are going to be more intense. Now we have kind of found out what the teams are going to look like from here on out and what we need to work on, such as our back row attacks.”

Senior Amanda Lamar approaches and gets ready to hit a ball during the girls' varsity volleyball game today
Senior Amanda Lamar approaches and gets ready to hit a ball during the girls’ varsity volleyball game today

Barber also said that the team needed to improve on some crucial elements of its game, such as talking on the court, before its next match.

“We had a few silly plays and some communication errors that resulted in the ball dropping between two people, which is a little disappointing to watch, but it is easy to fix,” Barber said.

The team had not played a game since their defeat of Marin Catholic on Nov. 7.

“We were kind off just getting back into to things and obviously we beat them pretty handly so I don’t think that it hurt us too much,” Spaethling said. “That being said, I do think that we were a little complacent. Now we’re locked in and ready to continue.”

Senior Elly Lundberg hits the ball during the second set of the girls' varsity volleyball game today
Senior Elly Lundberg hits the ball during the second set of the girls’ varsity volleyball game today

In the first set, the Giants got off to a slow start trading points with the Cougars until a kill by senior Margot Spaethling got the team fired up. The team went on to win the set 25-16.

At the beginning of the second set, the Cougars pulled ahead until a service error by one of their players killed their momentum. The Giants fought back and won the set 25-16.

In the third set, the Giants rested some of their starters. The personnel change did not affect the team, as they were able to win the set 25-12.

“It was nice to play at a high level and get everyone in [and] playing at their best. We are a really competitive team so sometimes it is hard to get everyone on the court,” Senior Adelaide Shunk said.

The team’s next game is on Wed. Nov. 18 at home against the fifth-seeded Montgomery Vikings at 7 p.m. The winner will go to NCS finals.