Varsity Volleyball Ends Senior Night On A High, Looks to Playoffs

By Caera Learmonth, Managing Editor

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  • Juniors Zoe Menendez and Audrey Quesnel block the incoming ball.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • The Westwood cheerleaders present for the big game pepped the team every time they won a point. Additionally, between sets and during timeouts they put on a routine to increase school spirit amongst the audience.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • Kenzie Beckham '21 serves the ball.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • Caroline Suter '19 spikes the ball, resulting in a point for the team.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • Kenzie Beckham '21 hits the ball while her team cheers for her.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • Maggie Stout '19 celebrates a point with her team.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • Kenzie Beckham '21 sets the ball to Abby Gregorczyk '21.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • Caroline Suter '19 and Audrey Quesnel '20 attempt to block the oncoming ball.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • Audrey Quesnel '20 jumps to spike the ball.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • Kenzie Beckham '21 attempts to save the ball.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • Anna King '20 screams in excitement after her team wins the game.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

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On Tuesday, Oct. 23, the varsity volleyball team crushed the Vista Ridge Raiders 3-2 in a match that qualified the team for playoffs. The game was also Senior Night, and began with each senior player being presented with a bouquet of flowers and a signed photo of the team. The bleachers were packed with the support of the varsity football team, Chamber Choir, and cheerleaders.

“Well, it was kind of a crazy game,” head coach Tara Nelson said. “It was win or go home for us tonight, so we had to beat Vista [Ridge] in order to extend our season. It is really exciting that they did this on Senior Night. The girls really stepped it up; it was a battle the whole night.”

After a tearful tribute to the Seniors, the Lady Warrior’s spirits were high, and a dig by Maggie Stout ‘19 grabbed the first point of the game for the Warriors. The team then maintained a close lead for most of the set. A volley from Audrey Quesnel ’20 to Stout to Caroline Suter ’19 and an unexpected kill from Abi Rucker ’20 gave the Lady Warriors an extra edge, pushing them to 6-3. Later, an attack by Abby Gregorczyk ‘21 and Zoe Menendez ‘20 led the team to 13-8. The Raiders were quickly catching up at 13-12, but another kill from Gregorczyk managed to keep the Warriors fighting. Vista Ridge initially evened the score, then stole a 16-14 lead due to a series of outs on the Warriors’ end. Despite this, the Lady Warriors wouldn’t give up and a serve from Rucker combined with a block from Quesnel and Suter caught the team up 16-16. From then on, it was neck and neck until kills from Stout and Menendez put the Warriors two points ahead 22-20. The Warriors were able to win the set 25-22 after an out of bounds from the Raiders.

“We definitely had some inconsistencies, some ups and downs,” Maddi Kriz ‘19 said. “But in the end, like every game, we finished strong and came together. It was awesome.”

The second set started off worse for the Warriors, but Vista Ridge serving out of bounds twice put the team back in the game at 6-2. A kill from Kenzie Beckham ‘21 followed by an attack from Quesnel bumped the score to 9-4. Menendez executed hits towards the middle of the set that boosted the Warriors to 21-12. Stout’s kills continually kept the Warriors fighting, scoring multiple points throughout and securing the last point of the set. The Raiders won the set 25-15.

Even with the outcome of the second set, the Lady Warriors landed on their feet and a block from Anna King ‘20 and Quesnel propelled them into the lead for the first half of the third. Menendez got the first kill, and Quesnel helped maintain the Warrior’s lead with her kills and serves. Vista Ridge then tied up the set, and went on to win 25-18.

“We played amazing in the first set,” assistant coach Amber Hall said. “Just carrying that through to the second and third is what we need to work on.”

Despite a strong attack from Menendez, the Raiders took the first point of the fourth set. However, that did not stop the Lady Warriors as a kill and block from Kriz gave the team two points. The Warriors remained one point behind the Raiders until another kill by Kriz evened the score at 9-9. Throughout the set, Kriz remained a key player and scored multiple points for the Lady Warriors. Quesnel also stepped up to block attacks from the Raiders, but the teams were still incredibly close in score. A low kill by Kriz set the crowd ablaze and upped the ante as teams were 23-23. In the end, the Warriors prevailed 25-23.

“I think we really pushed at the end when it was important and that’s why we had such a good outcome,” Suter said.

Set five started with both teams hitting the ball out of bounds, which evened the score 2-2. Kriz broke the streak with a kill, and Menendez and Gregorczyk executed two effective double blocks that led the team ahead 8-6. Stout’s attack inched the Warriors closer to victory at 11-7 and ignited the crowd, with Menendez shortly following with a kill. A final hit by Stout sealed the team’s victory 15-7, and the game at 3-2.

“Obviously we had some ups and downs, but a win like that is unforgettable, especially on senior night,” assistant coach Amber Hall said.

The Lady Warriors will be heading to playoffs on Monday, Oct. 29.