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Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

Winged Post

Varsity girls volleyball prevails over Pinewood with decisive three set win

Eva Cheng
Players congratulate each other on a powerful kill during the first set. The varsity girls volleyball team upset Pinewood 25-15, 25-12, 25-6 in a home game victory on Sept. 12.

The varsity girls volleyball team upset Pinewood 25-15, 25-12, 25-6 in a home game victory on Sept. 12. 

Pinewood opened with the first serve, and Harker won it as they started the game off strong with a six-point streak. The Eagles’ lead started to slip as the game advanced to 7-6, but outside hitter Navya Samuel (11) stepped up with a decisive spike, earning praise from her teammates who chanted “who let the dogs out” loudly from the sidelines. Trailing 23-15 at the end of the first set, Pinewood called a timeout. The Eagles maintained their momentum upon retaking the court, and immediately earned the first set with two consecutive aces from Navya.

Harker entered the second set energetically, with outside hitters Divya Bhupathi (9) and Elie Ahluwalia (10) earning numerous kills to bring the team to 20-14. The Eagles won the last five points in quick succession, which culminated in a tense rally that kept coaches and spectators on the edges of their seats. 

“It was very much a blowout game, and I think varsity came out very strong,” spectator Minal Jalil (10) said after the game. “They didn’t play down to the level of Pinewood. I think it was a very entertaining game, too, because we saw a lot of kills [and] because Harker didn’t back down.” 

Harker continued their run with a streak of three aces in six serves from co-captain and right side Margaret Cartee (12). Opposite hitter Nat Tan (10) finished the game off by executing a conclusive spike, to deliver Harker the landslide win 25-6.

Coach Theresa “Smitty” Smith commended the team’s ability to maintain their standards no matter their opponents.

“It was a relatively non-challenging match for us,” Coach Smitty said. “But those are sometimes the more difficult matches to play, because you tend to play down to the level of your competition and end up making it a game. We did a little bit of that in game two, but by game three, we just got it done.”

While the Eagles entered the game knowing that the Panthers are historically one of the lower-ranked teams in their league, their success came from their ability to maintain a diligent mindset, not allowing expectations of a straightforward win to affect their plays.

“I think the biggest takeaway from today’s game is that we can’t get cocky,” Nat said. “We have to trust our ability to do well but also remind ourselves that our skill is finite. We are of course not the best team, but we can definitely do very well together.” 

The team looked forward to the mixed tournament on Sept. 13 and Sept. 14. The junior varsity and varsity girls volleyball teams were randomly mixed to create new teams, and players dressed up in costumes inspired by this year’s theme of Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour for a team bonding event.

The team currently has a 2-0 league record and plays against Castilleja next at home on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. 

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Eva Cheng, Reporter
Eva Cheng (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is her second year on staff. This year, Eva hopes to learn more about her community through interviews and interactions with students and faculty. Outside of class, she loves to play soccer, read, and spend time with her friends and family.

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