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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

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Varsity girls volleyball annihilates Eastside College Prep in three set match

Setter+Keira+Chang+%2810%29+sets+the+ball+to+middle+blocker+Emily+Mitnick+%2811%29+as+she+sets+up+to+swing.+The+Eagles+defeated+Eastside+in+three+straight+sets.
Claire Yu
Setter Keira Chang (10) sets the ball to middle blocker Emily Mitnick (11) as she sets up to swing. The Eagles defeated Eastside in three straight sets.

Varsity girls volleyball defeated Eastside College Prep 25-8, 25-13, 25-6 in three straight sets at home on Oct. 3.                

Harker began the first set with an early 8-3 lead over Eastside through two serving runs by setter Keira Chang (10) and outside hitter Divya Bhupathi (9). The girls held their lead over the Panthers through multiple aces and strong hits. With kills from Divya and middle blocker Juhi Madala (12), as well as saves from defensive specialist Carol Song (12) and libero Norah Mehanna (11), the Eagles extended their lead to 22-6. Despite some minor struggles towards the end of the set, setter Brooke Kubose (10) delivered solid assists, and the team ended the set 25-8. 

After another serving run from Keira starting the second set, outside hitter Nat Tan (10) helped keep the momentum up through a few strong hits and solid blocks. Eastside quickly made a comeback, disrupting Harker’s rhythm that brought the score to 11-7. This prompted a timeout from Harker, after which, Juhi rebuilt Harker’s pace through a spike. Keira and outside hitter Elie Ahluwalia (10) expanded the Eagles’ lead further with two more serving runs. Outside Hitter Navya Samuel (11) and Juhi helped Harker win the set 25-13 with a hard hit and a spike respectively. 

Harker began the third set tied with Eastside for the first few points. Middle blocker Emily Mitnick (11) helped the Eagles regain their momentum with a decisive block. Serving runs by Elie and Brooke kept the steady pace up. Harker kept Eastside’s points low and finished the set with two strong hits from setter and co-captain Margaret Cartee (12) and Juhi taking home the win, ending the third set 25-6. 

“We were a little slow at the beginning,” Elie said. “But in the end, we picked it up, and we still played well. I thought we had some really good serves towards the end. I think we as a team are trying to go after more balls and talk to each other more.”  

Avid home game attendee Claire Anderson (11) watches the team face opponents of all different skill levels. She admires the athletic ability required of the sport that the Eagles consistently display during every game, with this game being no exception.

“I find it so cool how they can jump that high and then just smack the ball down, so it was fun [watching] today,” Claire said. “I think they played well, especially some of the blocks Juhi had — it was crazy.”

In preparation for the game, the team focused on keeping their interconnection and team bond strong throughout each of their plays. Varsity girls volleyball coach Theresa “Smitty” Smith commented on Harker’s emphasis on unity and mindfulness during this game.

“We strived not to play down to the level of the competition,” Smith said. “It is very difficult not to do. So, [we] more so focus[ed] on taking care of ourselves and not worrying about what the other team is doing.”

Varsity girls volleyball completed the regular season with a 9-3 league record.

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About the Contributors
Janam Chahal, Reporter
Janam Chahal (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is her second year on staff. This year, she hopes to write articles on a variety of topics and learn about new people around campus. In her free time, she likes to swim, read, and bake with her sister.
Shareen Chahal, Winged Post Co-Managing Editor
Shareen Chahal (12) is a co-managing editor for the Winged Post, and this is her third year on staff. This year, Shareen hopes to extend her coverage to more underrepresented groups on campus and to make more friends within this year's journalism staff. In her free time, she likes to sing, paint and bake for her friends and family.
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.

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