Volleyball Rolls over Knights after Slow Start

Erika Riedel, Staff Writer

Girls’ varsity volleyball beat Las Lomas in straight sets on October 20. The game, which was originally scheduled for October 12, had been postponed due to poor air quality resulting from the North Bay fires.

The Knights took an early lead during the 1st set, 14-8. Campolindo rallied after a timeout to win, 25-20. The Cougars took the next 2 sets by larger margins, 25-17 and 25-15.

Of his squad’s slow start, coach Dave Chen said, “We were a little unfocused. I think we’re working on focusing on the right things at the right time.”

“The goal was to play really hard, be consistent. We were all really tired because that was our 3rd game of the week, which is unusual, and we had a tournament the next day,” said senior outside hitter Izzy Artiaga. The Cougars went on to place 3rd at the Belmont Varsity Tournament on October 3rd.

“Valuing each possession and contact [is necessary] in order to have success down the road, and I don’t think my team had something like that prepared early on,” added Chen.

“We weren’t really frantic, we were pretty in control the entire game and we just knew we had it in us to grind it out,” said Artiaga.

“The first set was a little shaky but I thought it was really cool how we came together as a team and won the game in 3 sets,” said freshman outside hitter Kate Dendinger. “It was super fun.”

“Coaches expect you to walk in prepared, not only mentally but physically prepared,” said Chen, who added that the team’s setback during the 1st set was due to a lack of preparation. “I’d like to say it’s a little bit of rust, but the other team was already prepared.”

After developing leads in the 2 subsequent sets, the team’s 4 freshmen were given extra playing time. “It’s always really really nice to see the freshmen getting playing time, they are always really consistent and they know that they don’t have that many opportunities so they just take it in strides,” said Artiaga. “They just leave it on the court, which is really nice.”

“I thought it really helped us establish the trust between our players and that we know how to bounce back even if we’re down by a couple of points,” added Dendinger.