Volleyball wins Mission League title

 The Fanatics stormed the court, pushing the girls’ volleyball team into the net after the girls took down Notre Dame at Homecoming, clinching the Mission League title.

Despite league losses to Louisville and Notre Dame early in the season, which put the Wolverines’ preseason goals in jeopardy, the girls defeated Alemany to clinch first place and a CIF playoffs berth.

The team opened its league season with a 3-0 victory against Alemany, but the first real challenge came against the Notre Dame Knights on Sept. 27, who players said was their biggest rival for first place. The game was played in the Knights’ home gym, packed with fans wearing matching black T-shirts.

“We talked a lot about how important the game was, but I don’t think we were mentally prepared,” Jackie Beyer ‘13 said. “We let the crowd affect us.”

After the loss, players said that unless Notre Dame dropped a match, which seemed unlikely because of their dominance in their first matchup, the Wolverines matchup on Homecoming, Oct. 27, would be for a tie for first place.

However, after winning matches against Flintridge Sacred Heart and Chaminade, the Wolverines suffered another league loss to Louisville, meaning Notre Dame controlled their own destiny in league. If they won the rest of their games, they would win the Mission League, regardless of how the Wolverines preformed in their final five league games.

But the Knights did not win out, dropping two matches to Flintridge Sacred Heart, while Harvard-Westlake went on a three-game win streak, defeating FSHA, Chaminade and Louisville.

Homecoming would decide their playoff fate.

“The second game we knew the stakes were higher,” Beyer said. “The winner would win league, and we weren’t going to give that up again.”

Rallied by Wolverines fans clad in red Fanatic T-shirts, the Wolverines overpowered the Knights to win in straight sets and clinch the Mission League title.

“We put the pressure on them to score points,” Head Coach Adam Black said. “We hit in and served in and forced them to do things out of their comfort zone. More importantly we played very well as a team. We took care of the ball and rallied behind each other.”

The team went on to defeat Alemany in its last league match, and increased their streak of consecutive games won to 15. Although the team then lost a non-league match to Marymount in straight sets, they began the first round of CIF Playoffs yesterday, but scores were not available at press time.

“We don’t really have any expectations for CIF. We’ve looked at the teams we’ll be playing and have decided we’re capable of winning CIF but it all depends on how we play. We’re just going to try to be on our game and play our best in every match,” Josephine Kremer ’14 said.