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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

Boys varsity volleyball sweeps Mountain View in 3-0 shutout

Co-captain and outside hitter Zachary Blue (12) receives a serve. Strong passing allowed the Eagles to run a more diverse offense and create more scoring opportunities on Wednesday. (Katerina Matta)

The varsity boys volleyball team bested Mountain View in a 25-17, 25-17, 25-20 sweep at home on Wednesday. 

Harker pulled ahead to a 6-2 lead at the start of the first set, capitalizing on a series of unforced errors by the Spartans. An aggressive Mountain View serving run tightened the score to 11-10, but a quick kill by middle Kairui Sun (10) broke the Spartans’ momentum to keep Harker up 12-10. The Eagles continued to create offensive opportunities out of the middle to force the first Spartan timeout at 17-12. Harker maintained its momentum coming out of the timeout, going on a 6-3 run until Mountain View called their final timeout at 23-15. Kairui closed the set with a stuff block at 25-17. 

The Eagles gained an early lead in the second set, marked by strong offense plays like a hard cut out of the middle by middle Rahul Yalla (11). A short string of unforced errors from the Eagles tightened the score to 7-7, but a kill from co-captain and pin hitter Spencer Mak (12) and diving save from co-captain and setter Adrian Liu (12) punctuated the Eagles’ 4-0 run to 11-7. The Eagles continued with kills by Kairui, Rahul and opposite Kyle Johnson (12) to cruise to a 25-17 second set win. Adrian emphasized his significant improvement in setter-hitter connections during this game, as the Eagles prepared for the Best of the West tournament in San Diego from Friday to Saturday. 

“Setting-wise, I was doing better today connecting, especially with my outsides,” Adrian said. “I was having a bit of trouble pinpointing the pins, but today was a little bit better. When we played Monta Vista, we were still getting used to the swing of things, with people switching around positions. Ironing things out was nice to get that flow going before San Diego.” 

Zachary echoed Adrian’s sentiment, highlighting the Eagles’ focus on cohesion throughout not just the match but the season. 

“Right now, we’re a bunch of really good individual players,” Zachary said. “Last year we took a CCS title, and this year, we’re going for something higher, something bigger. We need to just keep strengthening our connections, setting, passing, all that.” 

Middle Kairui Sun (10) swings off of a quick set. The Eagles aim to emphasize setter-hitter connections as part of their offensive strategy for the season. (Katerina Matta)

Mountain View finally broke the Eagle’s momentum in the opening of the third set, notching a 4-1 lead. The Eagles quickly responded, tying the score at 6-6, and gained a slight lead at 9-8 Eagles. An aggressive over-on-two by outside hitter Liam Jeffers (11) helped widen the gap, eventually bringing the Eagles to an 11-8 lead. They kept their momentum, with co-captain and outside hitter Zachary Blue’s pin kill extending the Eagle’s advantage to 18-12. A late push by the Spartans brought them within five at 17-22. After some back-and-forth, a stuff-block from Adrian and middle Edis Mesic (12) brought the Eagles to match point. They closed the final set 25-20 to complete the sweep. 

Assistant coach Diana Melendez commended the Eagles for their improvement playing as a team, from heightened communication to running more consistent plays. She hopes they will continue that growth as they progress through their season. 

“They played way more structured,” Melendez said. “They were able to better communicate and integrate a lot of their own individual skills as a group to unify them. Be more structured, own your job on the court, be a good teammate, work together.”

The team holds a 3-0 record and will next play Lynbrook in an away game next Wednesday.

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About the Contributor
Katerina Matta
Katerina Matta, Co-Sports Editor
Katerina Matta (11) is the co-sports editor for Harker Aquila and the Winged Post, and this is her third year on staff. This year, Katerina aims to expand sports features and diversify game coverage. In her free time, she enjoys playing beach volleyball and reading.

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