Varsity Volleyball Ruthlessly Rejects Vista Ridge Rangers

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  • Defensive specialist Sahasru Mandalapu ’25 performs a skilled overhead pass. Receiving serves with setting technique is a difficult maneuver, but one that Mandalapu uses regularly.

  • Outside hitter Alex Kriz swings for a spike as opponent blockers leap up to meet her. Throughout the game, the Rangers’ front row defense posed a major threat to the home team’s lead.

  • As she rushes towards the middle of the court, setter Rachel Cai ’24 lunges for a bump set. Cai played setter for all three sets of the game, serving as the team’s strategic brain through complicated rallies.

  • With outstretched hands, Bella Schiesz ’23 and Allie Shepherd ’23 leap for an outside block. The duo successfully pulled off multiple shutout blocks against the Vista Ridge offensive line, ensuring the Warriors lead remained protected.

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Despite the stiff competition, the Varsity volleyball team thoroughly shut out the Vista Range Rangers with a 3-0 win on Tuesday, Sept. 13th. The teams shared near-equal possession for the majority of the game, leaving it down to how seemingly inconsequential mistakes stacked up.

Libero Lola Fernandez ‘23 served the first ball of the game, but the Rangers scored the point with a vicious kill. Possession remained even, though powerful spikes from the Warriors’ front row eventually pushed the home team into the lead. At 12-8, Vista Ridge took their first timeout of the set. After the return, Vista Ridge spikers began to find holes in the defense as the score began evening out to 18-15. Westwood called a timeout, after which a missed Ranger serve led to a switch in momentum. The home team barreled ahead to 23-19 when Vista Ridge called their final timeout. After a kill from outside hitter Julia Hopkins ‘24, Westwood took the first set at 25-21.

“When I play front row, I don’t really have to think that much,” Hopkins said. “It feels really good.”

The second set passed much the same, featuring impressive spikes from Hopkins, Trinity Wood ‘23, and Alex Kriz ‘23, as well as digs from Sahasra Mandalapu ‘25 and Rachel Cai ‘24.

The third set opened with alternating possession. The Ranger’s offense launched them ahead for an 11-9 lead on Westwood, but more kills from Hopkins tied the score at 11-11. Jump serves from Wood and Cai pulled the Warriors even further ahead to 23-16. A quick-set from Cai to Allie Shepherd ‘23 brought the home team to match point. In a climactic final play, Hopkins dug up two spikes from Vista Ridge, with height enough for Kriz to slam a final kill into the back corner of the court.

“I feel like it was a close match,” Hopkins said. “They definitely made us work for our points.”

The Varsity volleyball team will head up against the Dragons at Round Rock High School on Friday, Sept. 16.