Freshman Volleyball Declaws Stony Point In Two Sets

By Rachel Iyer, Reporter

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  • Ella Wood ’23 and Kylie Wardlow ’23 jump to hit the ball over the net. After this, the team won a point.

  • Macie Gordon ’23 cheers her team mates, Katie Liu ’23 and Tanisha Balaggan ’23, after winning a point. Gordon cheered her team through the entire game.

  • Before the game started, the team does their pre-game ritual. The ladies do this before every match.

  • The team greets Stony Point before the game. They wish the other team good luck before every game.

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The freshman volleyball team defeated the Stony Point Tigers in two quick sets on Tuesday, Oct. 1. The Lady Warriors stayed in the lead for the entirety of both sets. The two team captains, setter Katie Liu ’23 and outside hitter Ella Wood ’23, were key players for the victory. 

“I think we did well, we finished in two [sets] and we kept pushing even when we were up,” head coach Mackenzie McGalliard said.

The first set began with quick rallies and the Tigers were unable to return serves. The Lady Warriors gained a ten-point lead after multiple good serves from outside hitter Olivia Cook ’23 and middle back Kylie Wardlow ‘23. Soon, the Tigers began fighting back and started to catch up on the Warriors’ lead. Liu and middle back Macie Gordon ’23 fumbled the ball due to a communication error.  

“We had a lot of errors that could have been fixed easily,” Liu said. “[We should have] used our heads instead of just swinging our arms around.”

A timeout was called, giving the Warriors a chance to work out their difficulties. After the timeout, the Tigers continued to serve out of bounds but improved their ability to keep the ball up in the air.  A long rally broke out, forcing each team to hustle and communicate effectively.

“Even though we lost the point, [my favorite play was] when one of our players ran all the way to the bleachers to save a ball and we got the ball over,” Liu said. “I think that just shows our hustle and our mentality.”

The teams continued to have long rallies with great hits from right hitter Tanisha Balaggan ’23. Even though there were miscommunications and fumbles, The Lady Warriors stayed in the lead and won the first set, 25-19.

“We weren’t really talking that much and our passes wouldn’t do as well because of it and we couldn’t see who would get the ball,” Wood said.

In preparation to play against Stony Point, the Lady Warriors did lots of serve-and-receive drills at practice. There were numerous kills from Wood and Cook throughout the game. 

“We know that Stony Point has some tough servers so we were just preparing for it,” Coach McGalliard said.

Playing against the Tigers, the Lady Warriors were able to spot their weaknesses.

“They are able to keep balls up longer. They aren’t necessarily good balls, but they know how to keep going and keep pushing,” Liu said.

The second set consisted of the Warriors in the lead and the Tigers failing to return their serves. The Tigers also made strong serves throughout the set, a few of them the Warriors were not able to return. The set had a strong defense from libero Laure Giansanti ‘23 and great energy from Liu. As a team captain, it was part of Liu’s job to raise her teammates up and help them out.

“It’s kind of a lot of pressure [being the team captain], it’s a lot of weight to put on your shoulders,” Liu said

Gordon ended the game by serving an ace, winning the set 25-19. Gordon doesn’t usually serve and was excited to be given the chance to serve the winning ace. The Warriors immediately celebrated the victory by cheering and congratulating Gordon.

“I got so nervous [while I was serving], I just needed to tell myself to calm down and breathe,” Gordon said.

Come support the Lady Warriors at their next game on Friday, Oct. 4 against the McNeil Mavericks at home.

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