Varsity girls volleyball team falls to Mercy High School on Senior Night


Katelyn Zhao

Tara Ozdemir (12) and Brooklyn Cicero (12) hold up signs made for their Senior Night. The team will play at Notre Dame this Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

by Emma Gao and Katelyn Zhao

The varsity girls volleyball team lost to Mercy High School during their Senior Night on Friday at home 23-25, 18-25, 22-25 in their last home game of the season. 

The volleyball team held a ceremony pre-game to honor seniors Leyla Artun, Brooklyn Cicero, Camilla Lindh, Tara Ozdemir and Liza Shchegrov. Varsity volleyball head coach Theresa Smith introduced each senior and their family members, handing them flowers and gift bags.

“I was on varsity all four years, so this gym is like a second home,” team captain and libero Tara said. “[Knowing] I won’t be here anymore, it’s definitely weird.”

After Rachel Ning (11) served the ball to start the game, the teams competed closely in the first set, with the lead constantly switching between the two schools, and no side gaining more than a three-point margin. Harker saved a set point at 22-24 with a kill, but after a block deflected out of bounds, Mercy took the first set 25-23.

Mercy gained a four-point lead early in the second set at 1-5. After some aggressive playing by Harker, they tied the game at 13-13, but Mercy regained their lead and ultimately took the second set 25-18.

Harker took an early lead in the third set and capitalized on their momentum to achieve a four-point lead at 11-7. Mercy came back to tie the game at 12-12, and the two teams exchanged leads over the next several points. At 18-18, Mercy pulled ahead to gain two match points at 22-24, taking the final set 25-22 after a Harker error on the final point.

The team now holds an overall record of 5-17 and a league record of 1-8. 

“It’s been a rough season as far as wins and losses go,” Coach Smith said. “That being said, the girls have come every day to practice positive, come to every match positive, trying to do the best they can.”

As the season comes to a close, Smith reflects on the seniors’ journey throughout the program.

“This is always the hardest match of the year. We now know we have one match left and then our season is over, so that’s tough,” Smith said. “As always, it’s hard to see the seniors go.”

Sophomore Juhi Madala also reflects on the team’s performance and the fear of making mistakes that impact the team.

“I know this is a repeating pattern for us, but sometimes we let our energy get down,” Juhi said. “In today’s game, it happened in the middle of the second set, but having a crowd brings it back up because there are people cheering for us which makes us feel better.”

The team will travel to Notre Dame High School for their final match of the season this Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.