With its fall season coming to a close, the girls volleyball team has proved once again that strong teamwork and confidence leads to success. As of the press deadline, the team’s CCS quarterfinal game against Los Gatos had yet to be played, but the team has already demonstrated its character by fighting for every kill and playing as a unit, two critical qualities which have led to this year’s successes.
By effectively putting these qualities to use, volleyball has put together one of its most consistent season performances in years.
“Individually we are all good players, but we’ve reached a point where we can all play together at our full potential,” co-captain senior Katie Tritschler said. “We are really able to perform together without losing individual strength.”
Throughout the season, players have brought with them energy and intensity, helping them win many of their close matches. As of press date, the Lady Eagles hold a 28-5 overall record, and have gone 8-2 in league matches.
“We have always been known as being the most enthusiastic and ‘loud’ team in the league,” co-captain senior Hanna Koehler said. “I think because we have a ton of strong personalities on the team, we are often able to drown out our opponents with our energy.”
Several wins stood out as defining moments in the season. The Lady Eagles defeated Homestead, their biggest league rival, in four sets, a huge upset, and swept Palo Alto, a team against which they have struggled to hold their own in prior years. Even more gratifying, players said, was dominating both teams on their home courts.
“In the past, we always struggled with playing in [the Palo Alto and Homestead] gyms, but this year we showed our strength in consistency to beat both of [the teams],” co-captain senior Meghan McDermott said.
Key players have also stepped up to carry the team through its tough moments. The senior squad, all individually strong and bringing with them years of playing experience, provided the team with consistent leadership. This year’s team was carried by four co-captains: Hanna, Meghan, Katie and junior Carmen Annevelink, who recently verbally committed to University of California-Berkeley’s volleyball program. Contributing to the senior starting lineup, Carmen led the team’s offense, averaging 20 kills per match.
“[Carmen] has really blossomed,” Katie said. “We ran our offensive plays around her [and] she was a huge part of our success.”
Looking forward, the team looks to perform positively and improve throughout the coming seasons as younger players step in to take the graduating seniors’ places. The tradition of excellence will undoubtedly continue for the girls volleyball team.
“Even though the team will be losing a large part of the starting lineup next year, they will still be strong,” Hanna said. “Our coach does a good job giving the younger players playing time so that they will be ready to take on the role of the graduating seniors.”
As the team plays its final games of the year, the Lady Eagles have summarized this as the season in which they “gave it their all,” and found success in their confidence, energy and consistency.
“We click well, we play well together,” Katie said. “Even though we had a few losses, it’s all been great. I don’t want it to be over.”