Volleyball faces tough schedule

After starting the season undefeated in its first week of play, the girls’ varsity volleyball team has cooled off in recent matches. Led by its 10 seniors, the team began the season with an overall record of 6-0.

But the squad entered a bit of a skid, losing three out of its next four matches. They had a 7-3 record at press time.

In its first match of the season, the team defeated Santa Barbara High School three games to one at home Sept. 11 in front of a crowd of students and parents. The Wolverines brought the momentum from their promising start with them down to Huntington Beach where they participated in the Dave Mohs tournament.

“The Mohs tournament was very encouraging,” first year Head Coach Adam Black said.   “All the girls played well, played tough. I think all of them were pretty excited to be there.”

The team steamrolled past its first five opponents in the tournament Sept. 14 and 15, winning each best-of-three match in two games. Within 48 hours of returning home, the squad headed back to Orange County to play Los Alamitos in the finals Sept. 17.  Los Alamitos, ranked sixth in the nation by maxpreps.com, defeated the Wolverines in a match that went down to the wire in three sets.

“We just came up a little bit short,” Black said. “We played well. Los Alamitos was just a little bit better towards the end of the match.”

Members of squad were disappointed in placing second in the tournament after such a strong start.

“When we saw that we were playing really well as a team we expected to win, so it was really disappointing when we didn’t,” KC Kanoff ’08 said.

Although Black maintains that there are no official team captains, players on the team credited Cathryn Quinn ’08, Katherine Sebastian ’08 and Kanoff ’08 as the top players.

“We really don’t have captain captains. To me a captain is someone who calls the coin flip and that’s it,” Black said. He added that the team is fairly well-rounded. “We don’t have a girl that’s going to hammer the ball or block all at the same time… Everyone’s just playing well together.”

After losing in the finals in the Dave Mohs tournament, the team returned the next day to Taper Gym, where it beat San Marcos in a match that lasted five games. But in the next match at Notre Dame Academy, the demanding schedule of the previous week finally caught up with the team.  The Wolverines lost the match in four games.

“Notre Dame passed pretty well and we just didn’t have a good game… which happens. Thankfully that happened in the beginning of the season,” Black said.

After playing seven matches in five days, Black said that players on the team appeared tired in the loss. “Regardless of whether we’re tired or not, we feel the team still needs to try and do their best, and I think they did,” he said.

Sebastian and Christine Waters ’08 agreed with their coach. “We need to learn how to push through our fatigue,” Sebastian said.

“I think everyone was really tired. Physically, it was so difficult because they were exhausted from the whole week. Last week was nonstop playing,” Waters added.

The team came up with another loss against Sept. 25 against Bishop Montgomery.

Having a new coach hasn’t been the only change for this volleyball team. The departure of last years’ seniors has also affected the players.

“It’s just been different because we lost a lot of seniors last year, but everyone’s stepped up to the plate… When we lost all those seniors it kind of fell upon us to step it up and bring our A-game,” Kanoff said.

The team traveled to San Jose over the weekend to play in the Archbisop Mitty Tournament, one of the top tournaments in the state. The squad played Alemany last night, with results unavailable at press time.