Varsity Volleyball Sweeps Away Cedar Ridge in Four Set Game

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  • As a ball soars over, libero Lola Fernandez ’23 braces her passing platform. Despite Cedar Ridge’s consistent spikes, the home team defense kept the ball in play with digs and dives.

  • With the full line of spikers preparing to jump, setter Rachel Cai ’24 launches a jump set above the net for Bella Schiesz ’23. This play, generally referred to as a quickset, is a way of minimizing delay and increasing power on spikes.

  • After approaching through the middle of the court, Allie Shepherd ’23 jumps to meet the set. As a middle blocker, spikes require attention to avoid the opponents’ defense.

  • As teammates on the sidelines look on, outside hitter Alex Kriz ’23 draws back in the middle of a serve. Serving is one of the most stressful and important aspects of the game, and often entails attention and moral support from the full team.

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After a slow start, varsity volleyball pulled off a mid-game comeback, ultimately defeating the Cedar Ridge Rangers 3-1 on Friday, Sept. 30. Despite losing the first set, a combination of effective blocks and powerful spikes not only paved the way for a narrow second-set win but a blowout third and fourth set for a Warrior victory.

The first set began with a Cedar Ridge lead after the away team won the first point off their serve. The Warriors were able to come back for three points but subsequently lost ten. At 10-3, the home team called their first timeout. After the return, Cedar Ridge held a considerable lead, maintaining constant possession to 25-14, the final score of the set.

“I think we started out a little bit rough,” setter Rachel Cai ‘24 said, “but we really started picking it up.”

The second set began with near equal possession, even leaning 12-8 towards Westwood after the referee called out-of-rotation against the Rangers. At 19-18, Cai dove for a big save, but the rally eventually went to Cedar Ridge. However, the home team’s morale was boosted, and they gained a 21-19 lead. Cedar Ridge called two timeouts quickly, but the score still rested at 23-20. The score tied up at 24-24, despite a Westwood timeout. However, a home team block allowed the Warriors to clinch two final points and win 26-24.

Fresh off the second set win, the third set was put soundly to rest with a 25-13 Westwood win, facilitated by a strong back row spike from Julia Hopkins ‘23.

“Those [later] sets can be a little hard,” Cai said, “because everyone starts getting physically tired and mentally tired, too, but we just push on.”

Beginning with a serve from Alix Kriz ‘23, the fourth set ramped up with an 8-3 Westwood lead. Cedar Ridge took a timeout, after which they won the first point back. Both teams traded points for a stretch, though the Warriors maintained a lead of about five points throughout. At 18-11, Cedar Ridge called another timeout, yet the home team lead was maintained. At 24-19, Hopkins leaped up for another powerful spike, sealing the fourth and final set in Westwood’s favor.

“We started playing better,” Cai said. “We really pulled it out and kept on pushing every minute.”

The varsity volleyball team’s next game will be on Friday, Oct. 7, against the Vista Ridge Rangers.