Girls’ varsity volleyball sends Grizzlies into hibernation

Eric Ahern

The Redwood gym would have erupted in cheers Tuesday night, had there been any volleyball fans present (excluding the unconditional attendance of parents and overly hyper little brothers). However, it seemed as if the student section was too preoccupied with college apps and Halloween candy overdoses to witness the girls’ varsity team stomp the visiting California Grizzlies in its three set sweep.

Fortunately enough, the lack of fans didn’t seemed to stifle the Giants in any way, as they won each of the three sets by at least seven points.

Senior captains and DI committed athletes McKenzie Cooke and Claire Jackson led the Giants with 16 and 13 kills, respectively. However, the unsung hero of the evening was the freshman on this year’s varsity roster, Olivia Cooper. The young and promising Giant finished off with 10 kills out of 11 attempts, which adds up to an astonishing kill percentage of 90.9.

Cooper said that although it was first awkward being the only 9th grader on the team at the beginning of the season, the initial feeling of uneasiness has since completely dissipated.

“It was weird at first being by myself, but everyone on this team is so welcoming. I love all of them,” Cooper said with a smile. “It feels so great to be able to play with these girls, I’m really lucky and really happy.”

Cooper attributed a large amount of her success to longtime Giants head coach, Katie Pease.

“She is really good at correcting the little things and I’ve gotten a lot better thanks to her,” Cooper said. “Katie is an amazing coach—I’m really going to miss her.”

Head coach Katie Pease will retire at the end of this season. She has coached Redwood volleyball for 18 years.
Head coach Katie Pease will retire at the end of this season. She has coached Redwood volleyball for 18 years.

Pease has plans to retire at the end of this season, with a full 18 years of Redwood volleyball tucked under her belt. With the NCS playoffs being single elimination, Pease’s last game could have potentially been Tuesday, and it could potentially be the next.

However, Pease intends on coaching the varsity team much further into the playoffs.

“We’ve won NCS the last three years in a row and I know that these kids can push through these matches and upset the one-seed to win on the road,” Pease said. “That’ll be the best way to go out. I’m just excited and I want to continue to see the girls play as a team and represent the things that I stand for as a coach. Win or lose.”

With this impressive victory, the Giants advance to round two of the NCS playoffs in which they will face the winner of the Dublin vs. Granada matchup this Saturday at home.