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Varsity girls’ volleyball loses against Valley Christian High School

Allison+Cartee+%2811%29+swings+to+hit+the+ball+during+the+game+against+Valley+Christian+High+School+yesterday.+The+varsity+girls%27+volleyball+team+lost+the+match+in+three+sets.
Allison Cartee (11) swings to hit the ball during the game against Valley Christian High School yesterday. The varsity girls' volleyball team lost the match in three sets.

Allison Cartee (11) swings to hit the ball during the game against Valley Christian High School yesterday. The varsity girls' volleyball team lost the match in three sets.

Tiffany Wong

Tiffany Wong

Allison Cartee (11) swings to hit the ball during the game against Valley Christian High School yesterday. The varsity girls' volleyball team lost the match in three sets.

by Tiffany Wong, Aquila News Editor

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The varsity girls’ volleyball team lost against the Valley Christian High School Warriors in the last of their pre-league season games today at the upper school athletics center.

The Eagles lost the match in three sets, with respective scores of 23-25, 22-25 and 15-25. Emily Cheng (10) served the first ball of the game, and Harker gained a five-point lead with the score at 8-3 early into the first set. The girls maintained a strong performance throughout the first set with blocks from Tiffany Shou (12) and Allison Cartee (11). Harker called a timeout in the first set when they were tied with the Warriors at 17-17 and again nearing the end of the set when the score was 22-24.

“The game of volleyball is a game of errors; there’s an error on almost every play,” team head coach Theresa (Smitty) Smith said. “I think we gave away a few points they didn’t really earn, like a missed serve or a set that was too far off the net that a hitter couldn’t get on top of.”

Both teams switched places on the court for the second set, in which the Eagles scored the first point but then fell into a three-point deficit soon after. Harker called their third timeout of the game when the score was 13-16 and their fourth timeout after both teams scored seven more points. In the third set, the Eagles held an early three-point lead. Eventually, the score evened out to 9-9 and Harker called their last timeout when the score was 14-23. Valley Christian closed out the game with a score of 15-25 for the third set.

“It’s normal to call all six timeouts, especially when you’re playing a good team like Valley Christian. It’s not necessarily because we aren’t doing well, but sometimes it’s helpful to regroup and understand how we can better our play,” right side hitter Srija Gadiraju (11) said. “Some of the best plays were when we shanked a ball and another player ran and got it up. It’s really amazing to see how much we’ve improved, even though it’s only been two weeks [into our season].”

Prior to today’s match against Valley Christian, the girls had played five games against Bay Area high schools and had participated in Milpitas High School’s Spikefest I on Aug. 26. The team plays their next match against Sacred Heart Preparatory for their league opener.

“We definitely want to improve our serving; we’re a really strong serving team, but a lot of the time we go back to the line and we’re not focused, so we miss a lot of our serves, which could have been points,” team co-captain Lauren Napier (12) said. “Serve receives and passing could use some work as well as getting the ball when we can and not letting the ball drop to the ground, because that’s also points lost.”

The varsity girls’ volleyball team heads to Sacred Heart Preparatory in Atherton for their league opener next Thursday.

Head coach Theresa (Smitty) Smith speaks to the team before the first set of the match. Harker called their first timeout of the game in the middle of the first set, when the score was at 17-17.

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Varsity girls’ volleyball loses against Valley Christian High School