Girls’ volleyball loses second round of CIF playoffs

Girls’ volleyball loses second round of CIF playoffs

Captain and libero Josephine Amakye ’21 and outside hitter Ava-Marie Lange ’23 lunge for the ball in order to keep the rally. The girls won against the Buckley School for Girls 3-0. Credit: Eugean Choi/Chronicle

After beginning the season strong with an undefeated 3-0 record in the Ann Kang Invitational Tournament, the girls’ volleyball team lost its second game of the CIF Regional Playoffs against Westlake High School 3-1, ending its season Oct. 26.

Thoughts on the season

Although the girls were disappointed that their season concluded early, many were satisfied with their performance, captain and libero Josephine Amakye ’21 said.

“I’m really sad that our season ended, but not in the way where I am regretful,” Amakye said. “I am more sad that we were achieving a lot and I wanted us to get even more. We definitely worked hard this season and I have no regrets.”

Program head Hayley Blanchard said she believes that the returning players will improve during the offseason. “I think it’s best to look at the end of the season in relation to our whole season,” Blanchard said. “Looking at how much each individual girl and the team as a whole improved was really neat to see for our coaching staff. Our starting line up for the majority of the season was very freshman and sophomore heavy, and we are very excited for next year when those girls, who already had a ton of success this year, have even more experience and growth.”

Injured senior players

During the season, two of the starting seniors, outside hitters Carly Wallace ’20 and Lola Craig ’20, suffered from injuries mid-season. Outside hitter Ava-Marie Lange ’23 said that despite the loss of key senior leadership, the team was able to exceed the coach’s expectations.

“We had a lot of struggles with so many of our teammates getting injured,” Lange said. “When [Wallace] and [Craig] both came down with injuries, we were really worried about what we were going to do next. But instead of being worried about something we can’t fix, we just played our hardest and did what we could. It didn’t affect us in a negative way, but instead gave us motivation to win in order to honor them.”

Going into next season, opposite Eva Lekovic ’21 said that the seniors’ presence helped the team become a family.

“I love the seniors so much and I don’t know what I’m going to do without them,” Lekovic said. “It was so hard to see them on the bench for their last high school season, but we kept improving and playing better for them and for each other. I know that they are going to do amazing things, and I’ll be rooting for them always.”

Hopes for next year

Amakye said that facing obstacles throughout the season has helped the team increase its confidence for next year.

“Since we accomplished more than anyone expected of us, we will use this season as a reason to have more confidence in ourselves,” Amakye said. “[We will] be able to accomplish so much more next year. I feel like considering all the injuries we had, we continued to play at the level that was expected of us. That makes me so excited for next season and what we can achieve. I can’t wait for how strong, successful, and fun next season will be.”

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