Varsity Volleyball Claims Victory Over Vipers in District Opener

Amy Simon, Sports Editor

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  • Bella Schiesz ’23 and Allie Shepherd ’23 block a hit from the Vipers. The ball hits off of Schiesz’s hands, slowing down the speed and allowing the Warriors to gain control over it.

  • Trinity Woods ’23 serves the ball. The result was an ace, giving the Warriors an additional point.

  • The team huddles together before the game. This was their first district huddle of the season.

  • Mckenzie McElroy ’24 tosses her volleyball into the crowd. The Warriors each threw a decorated ball at the beginning of the game as part of one of their many traditions.

  • The varsity volleyball team put their mini volleyball along the stand railing as they warmed up. The team celebrated their tradition of throwing the balls to the crowd before the game started.

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The varsity volleyball team played their first district game against the Vandegrift Vipers on Friday, Sept. 9. The match ended in four sets, with Westwood coming out on top.

Prior to the game, the Warriors threw out tiny, hand-decorated volleyballs to the fans as part of their yearly tradition. Each player got introduced to the crowd and then was able to throw a ball out to a loved one.

After the introduction of both teams, the game began. The Warriors started with the ball, with Lola Fernandez ‘23 serving. The Vipers were able to pass the ball back, but the first point eventually went to the Warriors, with a spike from outside hitter Alex Kriz ‘23. Both teams maintained even scores throughout the first half of the set. After the score hit 14-10, the Warriors called a time-out. When they returned, they scored five points, with the Vipers only scoring two. The shift in the points caused the opponents to get angsty, and they started overhitting their passes. The first set ended at 25-17, with the Warriors coming out on top.

The second set consisted of many spikes from outside hitter Julia Hopkins ‘24, and middle blocker Trinity Woods ‘23. Kriz and Woods made a notable jousting win, helping the team gain an extra point. The score was neck in neck for most of the game; however, the Vipers came out on top during the last five minutes of the set. The second set ended in a score of 25-20, with a Viper win.

The Warriors started the third set with a bang, racking six points while the Vipers trailed behind with one. Westwood maintained a marginal score difference, with the team gaining 17 points while the Vipers had seven. The set ended at 25-13 with a float serve by setter Rachel Cai ‘24, and a strong hit by middle blocker Allie Shepherd ‘23.

Knowing that the Warriors only needed one more set to win the game, the Vipers became more focused on securing the next set win. They were able to win the first two points of the set; however, Kriz shut down the possibility of a point streak with a spike. The set consisted of continuous spikes by Hopkins and many aces by defensive specialist Terin Score ‘23. Both teams were on their toes as two time-outs were called with a one-point difference in the score. Shepherd made the last two points for the Warriors with a joust and a hit from a set made by Cai. The fourth and final set resulted in a 25-15 Warrior win.

“I think we played really good today,” Katie Liu ‘23 said. “We really focused on being a defensive team, which is what we worked on in practice. We’ve had a pretty rough preseason with all the injuries, but it’s amazing how well we came out together tonight.”

The Warriors will play their next game on Tuesday, Sept. 13, against Vista Ridge High School in the big gym for Student Night.