Monthly recap: Fall sports go the distance

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Monthly recap: Fall sports go the distance

Natalie Vo (11) watches the ball after hitting it during the match against Castilleja on Sept. 18. The Eagles beat them 191-243, with Katelyn Vo (12) and Olivia Guo (11) in the lead, both shooting one over par 37.

Natalie Vo (11) watches the ball after hitting it during the match against Castilleja on Sept. 18. The Eagles beat them 191-243, with Katelyn Vo (12) and Olivia Guo (11) in the lead, both shooting one over par 37.

Kathy Fang

Natalie Vo (11) watches the ball after hitting it during the match against Castilleja on Sept. 18. The Eagles beat them 191-243, with Katelyn Vo (12) and Olivia Guo (11) in the lead, both shooting one over par 37.

Kathy Fang

Kathy Fang

Natalie Vo (11) watches the ball after hitting it during the match against Castilleja on Sept. 18. The Eagles beat them 191-243, with Katelyn Vo (12) and Olivia Guo (11) in the lead, both shooting one over par 37.

by Anna Vazhaeparambil, Sports Editor

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Cross Country

During the past month, the upper school cross country team competed in three meets: the Jackie Henderson Memorial Invitational on Sept. 14, the De La Salle Nike Challenge on Sept. 21 and the Capitol Cross Country Challenge on Sept. 28. Over the course of the three competitions, nearly all of the Harker runners earned personal bests and many ran farther distances than they ever have in a meet.

Junior Anna Weirich placed in the top five at all races, earning second at the Jackie Henderson Memorial Invitational with a time of 18:08 for the three-mile run, third at the De La Salle Nike Challenge with a time of 18:41 for the three-mile run and fifth at the Capitol Cross Country Challenge with a time of 18:04 for the 5K.

At the Capitol Cross Country Challenge, Rigo Gonzales (9) and Alexander Hu (10) finished second and seventh in the frosh/soph 2-mile race with times of 11:13 and 11:34 respectively. In the girls division of frosh/soph, Ritika Rajamani (10) earned eighth place with 13:34.

“Our season is undoubtedly improving in both our spirit and results,” sophomore Dawson Chen said. “We left for the [De La Salle Nike] meet at 6 a.m., and even so early in the morning the mood and excitement couldn’t have been better. Many of us earned personal records on the hilliest of courses, and together we achieved lots of team goals for the season.”

In the upcoming week, the team will run in the Artichoke Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 5, and in the first WBAL meet of the season on Thursday, Oct. 10. Both races will take place at the Half Moon Bay High School.

Golf

Currently undefeated (5-0) in league this season, the varsity girls golf team is tied for first place with Menlo School. Although their match against Notre Dame Belmont and Notre Dame San Jose was rescheduled, the Eagles did beat Castilleja 191-243 on Sept. 18, with Katelyn Vo (12) and Olivia Guo (11) in the lead, both shooting one over par 37.

The girls also competed at the Helen Lengfeld Memorial Tournament on Sept. 23, where they won second place overall as a team, the best finish in team history. In the individual awards, Natalie Vo (11) tied for first place at the tournament, scoring five under par 66.

Following the tournament, the Eagles went on to beat Mercy High School by 208-273 on Sept. 24, Notre Dame San Jose by 177-235 on Sept. 25 and Sacred Heart Preparatory School by 201-310. Next week, they face Castilleja School on Monday, Oct. 7, and Menlo School on Wednesday, Oct. 9.

“This is a very exciting year for us, coming off the girls golf program’s most successful season last year,” head coach Ie-Chen Cheng said. “Our goal this season and every season is to be the best we can be and have lots of fun on this journey. We try to get better each day and enjoy each other as a team. The results will take care of itself.”

Football

After two tough games in the last few weeks, the varsity football team maintains an overall record of 1-2-1, having tied with Lowell High School 15-15 on Sept. 13 and having lost to St. Francis High School 35-7 on Sept. 20.

During the game against Lowell, the Eagles made a large comeback, tying the score with only a minute left after a touchdown by wide receiver Rohan Varma (11) and an extra point by kicker Shomrik Mondal (12). Cheered on by bleachers filled with students, faculty and parents, the team was able to push through until the last seconds, despite injuries that challenged the team.

“It was great to see how everyone didn’t give up, no matter what,” lineman Phil Han (12) said. “To be completely honest, going into [the game], we were unsure of the outcome. It was not a guaranteed win, but [we] came out with everything we got.”

The boys next play St. Vincent de Paul High School this Saturday on Oct. 12 for their homecoming match.

Tennis

This month, the girls tennis team came out strong after their first tournament in Santa Catalina, and they currently hold a season record of 3-1. In a major upset, the Eagles beat Archbishop Mitty High School 6-1 on Sept. 23, following this win with a 6-1 victory over Castilleja School on Sept. 26 and a 7-0 victory over Crystal Springs Uplands on Oct. 1.

Despite a tough 6-1 loss against Menlo School on Oct. 3, the girls remain confident in themselves and each other, and they are looking forward to playing future matches together. 

“Overall, our team is really strong this year — our JV [team] as well,” co-captain Gina Partridge (12) said. “I’m excited to see how the momentum from [early in the season] follows us.”

Next week, the team hosts Sacred Heart Preparatory School on Tuesday, Oct. 8, at 4:15 p.m. on the Blackford campus.

Volleyball

After a busy month for the three girls volleyball teams, the varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams currently maintain overall records of 12-6, 7-4 and 8-3 respectively. Playing a total of seven games, in the last few weeks the Eagles had a strong performance across the board.

Following a big victory against Mercy San Francisco on Sept. 10, where the three teams won all their sets, varsity and junior varsity defeated Carmel High School 3-2 and 2-1 on Sept. 13, while freshman faced a close 1-2 loss. In the following week, despite a tough night against Sacred Heart Preparatory School on Sept. 19, with the girls losing all three games, they made a comeback afterwards and all secured wins against Menlo School on Sept. 24.

On Sept. 28, the varsity team also participated in the Notre Dame Belmont Tournament, finishing 3-2. The girls beat Taft Charter High School, Turlock High School and Tracy High School, but lost to Notre Dame Belmont and to Bishop Manogue Catholic High School.

The Eagles then faced another difficult three games against Notre Dame Belmont on Sept. 26, which ended in losses for all teams. Regardless, varsity was able to clinch a close 3-2 win against Notre Dame San Jose on Oct. 1 in the week after, although junior varsity and freshman weren’t able to win their matches. Finally, the teams also played Mercy San Francisco again on Oct. 3, and all emerged victorious, winning every set.

This upcoming week, the girls will face Mercy Burlingame on Thursday, Oct. 10, where they will also host Dig Pink, their fundraiser for breast cancer awareness. The freshman team will play at 4 p.m., junior varsity at 5 p.m., and varsity at 6:30 p.m.

Water Polo

All three water polo teams are having impressive seasons this year, with girls varsity boasting an undefeated record, boys junior varsity only losing one game and varsity close behind with just two losses. After playing eight games so far, they are currently 8-0, 7-1 and 6-2 respectively.

This past month, the three teams played Milpitas High School on Sept. 10, Fremont High School on Sept. 12, Santa Clara High School on Sept. 17 and Monta Vista High School on Sept. 19, each winning all four games. Although girls and boys varsity both beat Lynbrook High School on Sept. 24, junior varsity faced a 14-6 loss against the team. Despite this setback, they were able to come out strong in the following match, defeating Saratoga High School on Sept. 26 by 8-7 and Cupertino High School on Oct. 1 by 8-6. 

Although boys varsity lost their games against Saratoga and Cupertino 12-10 and 9-8, girls varsity was able to beat Cupertino 16-2 in their match. On Sept. 26, they played Wilcox High School instead, whom they defeated 15-1, maintaining their winning streak. Finally, all three teams recently faced Fremont High School on Oct. 3, securing three more victories for the school that day.

Additionally, they each competed in one tournament over the past month, with girls varsity earning 3-1 and taking fifth place at the Watsonville Water Polo Tournament on Sept. 21, boys varsity going 0-4 in the Pete Cutino Invitational Tournament on Sept. 27 and boys junior varsity finishing 2-1 at the Wilcox Boys Water Polo FS Tournament on Sept. 28.

Next week, all three teams play Santa Clara High School on Tuesday, Oct. 8, and play Monta Vista High School again on Thursday, Oct. 10. On Tuesday, boys varsity plays at 4 p.m., boys junior varsity at 5:15 p.m. and girls varsity at 6:15 p.m., while on Thursday, girls varsity plays at 4 p.m., boys junior varsity at 5:15 p.m. and boys varsity at 6:15 p.m. The girls will also participate in the 2nd Annual Milpitas Girls Varsity Water Polo Open at Milpitas High School on Saturday, Oct. 12.