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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 bests Castilleja in three set game

Claire Yu
Norah Mehanna (11) prepares to dig a spike by Castilleja. The Varsity girls won the game against Castilleja in three sets.

Varsity girls volleyball defeated Castilleja 25-12, 25-19 and 25-21 in straight sets on Sept. 19 in the Zhang Gym. 

Harker began with a lead of 5-1. After a tie at 5-5 from a comeback by Castilleja, outside hitter Navya Samuel (11) earned multiple points from serves and aces, giving Harker a large lead. Outside hitter Divya Bhupathi (9) widened the team’s lead with two kills, and a swing from opposite hitter Nat Tan (10) ended the set 25-12.

After starting down five points at the beginning of the second set, the Eagles gained momentum, tying the score from an ace and a dump by setter Keira Chang (10). Harker regained their lead after two kills by Navya and a serving run by libero Norah Mehanna (11). Co-captain and middle blocker Juhi Madala (12) furthered the Eagles’ lead with an assertive spike to win the set 25-19. 

Carol Song (12), Nayva Samuel (11), and Brooke Kubose (10) cheer loudly after an ace and a dump from Keira Chang (10) help them tie the game. (Claire Yu)

“We were able to take advantage of our morale shift,” Keira said. “And I also think that our serving was really strong today. The other team would get down on themselves a lot. So we had to take advantage of that and go after the weaker passers. And our serving was really consistent. We were hitting a lot of aggressive balls and I think that really paid off.”

The third set remained close with neither team leading by more than one point until the end of the set. When it was 22-21, Harker pulled away with two tips by outside hitter Elie Ahluwalia (10) and an ace from Divya, finishing the third set 25-21. 

“Our energy overtook them and our serve receive just got them out of rhythm and we played our best volleyball,” Norah said. “Our middles and our outsides, especially our baby freshman, Divya, did a great job.” 

Throughout the game, the Eagles stayed consistent which helped them beat Castilleja. Varsity girls volleyball head coach Theresa “Smitty” Smith spoke about the girls’ performance and how well they implemented the game plan.

“First of all, the serving was amazing,” Coach Smitty said.“The game of volleyball is about momentum swings. And even though if you won game one [and] you feel good about yourself, a game can go sideways real quick. Next thing you know, it’s tight, and then anxiety creeps back in. So we started to lose a little bit in game two, [and] were able to come back and hold them.” 

Varsity girls volleyball will play against Eastside College Prep in a home game on Tuesday. 

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About the Contributors
Claire Yu, Reporter
Claire Yu (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is her second year on staff. This year, Claire hopes to take more photos and not fall behind on her deadlines. In her free time, Claire enjoys listening to music, reading and playing basketball.
Ella Guo, Reporter
Ella Guo (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is her second year on staff. This year, Ella wishes to improve her photography skills and write more news. In her free time, she enjoys reading and drinking boba.

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