Weekly recap: Fall sports ace the week

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Weekly recap: Fall sports ace the week

Cassandra Ruedy (12) passes during a varsity girls practice last week.

Cassandra Ruedy (12) passes during a varsity girls practice last week.

Anna Vazhaeparambil

Cassandra Ruedy (12) passes during a varsity girls practice last week.

Anna Vazhaeparambil

Anna Vazhaeparambil

Cassandra Ruedy (12) passes during a varsity girls practice last week.

by Anna Vazhaeparambil and Aditya Singhvi

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Cross Country

The high school cross country team competed in their first meet of the school year this weekend, at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. 

In the varsity girls division, Anna Weirich (11) placed 15th out of 182 runners, while Ritika Rajamani (10) placed 92nd. For the varsity boys, Dawson Chen (10) led the Harker team, placing 153rd. 

In the junior varsity boys division, Alex Hu (10) placed 31st out of 289 competitors and ran the fastest Harker time overall for the full 2.93-mile course. In the freshman boys division, Rigo Gonzales placed ninth out of 238 runners in his race, while Rupert Chen placed 34th. In the freshman-sophomore girls division, Kara Kister (9) placed 61st out of 212 runners.

“My first week of working with the team, I had twelve kids on average. The first week of school we were in full swing, we had thirty-eight people,” cross country coach Mia Purnell said regarding the growth of the team early on in the season. “[Now] it’s all about building team camaraderie and building the family that is Harker cross country.”

The team will compete in their second meet of the season at the Jackie Henderson Memorial Invitational next Saturday. 

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  • Annabelle Ju (12) jogs a warm-up lap on the Blackford track during cross country practice last week. The team ran at the Lowell Invitational at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco last weekend.

  • Alex Hu (10) warms up along with the rest of the team on the Blackford track. Alex placed 31st out of 289 competitors and ran the fastest Harker time overall for the full 2.93-mile course at Lowell.

  • Seniors Vani Mohindra and Annabelle Ju warm up ahead of their race at the Lowell Invitational. The team will compete in their second meet of the season at the Jackie Henderson Memorial Invitational next Saturday.

Golf

Varsity girls golf competed at the Chappy Wheeler Tournament in Palm Desert on Sept. 6, kicking off the season with a second-place finish.

Freshman Claire Chen led the team in both rounds, averaging on par with scores of 74 and 70, and won an individual award in the tournament. She was closely followed by junior Natalie Vo, who earned a combined score of 149, and senior captain Katelyn Vo, who earned 152.

This week, the girls will be playing Valley Christian at the Los Lagos Golf Course on Tuesday, Sept. 10.

Football

The football team won their second league game of the season, defeating Washington High 21-6 on Friday, Sept. 6, to bring their overall record to 1-1 for the season.

The game, which followed the spirit kickoff earlier that evening, began with a scoreless first quarter. Although Washington returned an interception for a touchdown to take the lead 6-0 early in the second quarter, Harker soon responded by scoring a touchdown and extra point of their own. Harker then solidified their lead in the fourth quarter by scoring two additional touchdowns, including a highlight-reel 30-yard touchdown pass to Sid Dudyala (12) from quarterback Vijay Vyas (11), ultimately winning 21-6 in front of an eager home crowd. 

“We started the game off hard, and they went up 6-0. But after that, our team just battled. We all came together and put up points and we scored 20 straight,” Vijay said.

The team hosts Lowell High (1-1) on Friday, Sept. 13, at 7:00 p.m. for their third game of the season. 

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  • Runningback Devin Keller (12) rushes during the third quarter. Devin scored Harker's first points of the game when he ran for a 30-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

  • Phil Han (12) tackles an opposing Washington player during the third quarter. Harker hosts Lowell High (1-1) this Friday at 7 p.m.

  • Sid Dudyala (12) celebrates with the team after catching a 30-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. The touchdown put Harker up 20-6, solidifying their lead.

  • Kicker Shomrik Mondal (12) attempts an extra point after a Harker touchdown as quarterback Vijay Vyas holds the ball. "We started the game off hard, and they went up 6-0. But after that, our team just battled. We all came together and put up points and we scored 20 straight," Vijay said.

Tennis

In their season opener this weekend at the 63rd Annual Santa Catalina Tennis Invitational, the varsity girls tennis team made a strong first impression. Going 7-0 in all of their matches against Carmel, Sacred Heart Cathedral and Castilleja, the Eagles made it to the final round, where they proceeded to defeat Salinas 5-2 and take home the championship.

The girls will play their next game against Homestead High School on Sept. 23.

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  • Madeleine Hansen (10) practices serving during a girls tennis practice at Blackford. The Eagles defeated Salinas 5-2 in the finals of the Santa Catalina Tennis Invitational this weekend to take home the championship.

  • Tina Zhong (10) hits a forehand during practice at the Blackford tennis courts. The girls will play their next match against Homestead High on Sept. 23.

  • Arissa Huda (9) practices at the Blackford tennis courts.

Volleyball

After another impressive week for girls volleyball, the varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams maintain their strong performance this season. All three teams played Mercy High School in Burlingame on Sept. 4, with varsity and freshman winning 3-0 and 2-0 respectively, while junior varsity faced a close loss of 2-1.

On Sept. 6, an unexpected scheduling conflict led to the freshman team competing against two games at the same time: the girls were split apart so that half could play Prospect High School and half could play Westmont High School. Regardless, the Eagles managed to overcome these challenges and rack up two wins. They were followed by junior varsity and varsity, who also secured wins of 2-0 and 4-1 respectively against the Warriors.

To end the week, the junior varsity team also competed in the Spikefest Tournament at Independence High School on Sept. 7, defeating Homestead, Presentation and Menlo before losing to Notre-Dame Belmont in the semifinals and earning third place overall.

“During the games [this week], I saw a lot of kills and great digs, and I think they played really well” Gloria Zhu (10), the junior varsity team manager, said. “I’d say that this team has a lot of potential and really great chemistry. I’m really excited to see how the season progresses.”

This week, all three teams will host Mercy High School-San Francisco on Tuesday, Sept. 10, and will travel to Carmel High School to play on Friday, Sept. 13.

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  • Carolyn Lu (12) lunges forward to pass the ball in the girl's varsity volleyball team's home game against Westmont. The Eagles won the match 25-20, 24-26, 25-19, 25-16.

  • Lauren Beede (12) jumps up to tip the ball over the Westmont block.The junior varsity team also competed in the Spikefest Tournament at Independence High School on Sept. 7, defeating Homestead, Presentation and Menlo before losing to Notre-Dame Belmont in the semifinals and earning third place overall.

  • Anya Gert (12) passes the ball off one foot while Tara Ozdemir (10) and Emma Dionne (11) look on. This week, all three girls volleyball teams will host Mercy High School-San Francisco on Tuesday, Sept. 10, and will travel to Carmel High School to play on Friday, Sept. 13.

Boys and Girls Water Polo

The boys varsity water polo team competed in the Wilcox Invitational on Sept. 6 and Sept. 7, going 1-2 at the tournament after beating the Palma Chieftains 14-10.

All three teams will be hosting Milpitas High School on Tuesday, Sept. 10, and Fremont High School on Thursday, Sept. 12. Boys varsity will play at 4:00 p.m., boys junior varsity at 5:15 p.m. and girls varsity at 6:15 p.m. on the first game day, while girls varsity will play at 4:00 p.m., boys junior varsity at 5:15 p.m. and boys varsity at 6:15 p.m. on the second day.

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  • Cassandra Ruedy (12) passes during a varsity girls practice last week.

  • Indigo Lee (9) passes the ball during a boys water polo practice last week. The varsity water polo teams hosted Milpitas High School today.