The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Girls Volleyball: The Road to NorCal Championships

For the first time in school history, the girls volleyball team has advanced to the Northern California finals and State semifinals. The Lady Eagles followed up their CCS run with an equally impressive one in the Northern California CIF Tournament. Now, Los Altos is on the cusp of one of the biggest sports performances in the school’s history. Here’s how they got there:

CCS Finals vs. Archbishop Mitty (2-3)

On Saturday, November 23, the girls volleyball team missed out on the CCS title in a very close match against Archbishop Mitty High School, pushing the Monarchs to the fifth set, only to lose 16-18. Mitty, the winners of both last year’s NorCal championships and State title, proved a difficult opponent. But the Eagles were extremely competitive, narrowly missing opportunities to win on several occasions.

“We had game point three times and we couldn’t end it but that just goes to show there’s still room for improvement,” junior Liza Koulikova said. “Just the fact that we took Mitty to five games shows how much our team has accomplished.”

Story continues below advertisement

The players attribute their CCS run to the energy and teamwork they have been focusing on all season.

“The way we played against Mitty really is the definition of our season,” co-captain junior Carmen Annevelink said. “Everyone working hard, everyone going for the win and nobody giving up. We know that our team is based on energy, so we come out every game pumped. When energy lacks, we know how to help each other get back up.”

In spite of the loss to Mitty, the team was confident going into the NorCal Championships.

“We will play another match on Tuesday and we may even run into Mitty in NorCals,” senior Hanna Koehler said. “If we do, we will know exactly what to do to win.”

CIF NorCal Tournament

Though the Lady Eagles fell to Mitty in the CCS finals, they had already secured a spot in the CIF NorCal Tournament by defeating Saint Francis in CCS semifinals. Los Altos’ performance in CCS put it on the road, first against Pleasant Valley High School in Chico, then against Redwood High School in the city of Larkspur, just north of San Francisco.

NorCal quarterfinal game: Los Altos vs. Pleasant Valley (3-0)

Though travelling traditionally puts the visiting team at a disadvantage, Los Altos was evidently unfazed by Pleasant Valley’s home court advantage in their NorCal quarterfinal matchup on Tuesday, November 26. Los Altos came into NorCals as the third seed, while Pleasant Valley was seeded sixth.

Los Altos seized control of the game from the get-go, securing the first set 25-18. The second set was closer, but the Lady Eagles took it as well, 27-25. Any hopes of a Pleasant Valley comeback were shot as Los Altos took the third set easily, 25-16.

Los Altos’ shutout of Pleasant Valley took it to the semifinal round of NorCals, where it would face Redwood High School.

NorCal semifinal game: Los Altos vs. Redwood (3-2)

The NorCal semifinal game pitted the Lady Eagles against the second seed of the tournament, Redwood four days later, on Saturday, November 30. As such, there was a greater level of intensity in this matchup than the previous one.

Though Los Altos took the first two sets of the game (25-22 and 25-23) narrowly, Redwood responded powerfully, nearly mounting a successful comeback. Redwood took the third and fourth sets 25-21 and 25-18.

The Lady Eagles, however, would have none of this. The game went down to the wire, but Los Altos eventually took the fifth set 15-11.

NorCal final game: Los Altos vs. Archbishop Mitty

Los Altos now heads into the NorCal finals to face Archbishop Mitty, the number one ranked girls volleyball team in both the nation and the state (Maxpreps). The Lady Eagles, by contrast, are ranked 72nd and 17th in nation and state. Though staging an upset would have seemed unlikely at one point, Los Altos’ pushing Mitty to the limit in the fifth set of CCS finals suggests that the Monarchs aren’t as untouchable as they once seemed.

Los Altos has come a long way since the opening games of this fall season, defeating top league rivals such as Palo Alto and Homestead along the way. Will the Lady Eagles prevail in perhaps the biggest sports moment in school history of late? Find out tomorrow, December 2 in the NorCal final game at Archbishop Mitty (5000 Mitty Avenue, San Jose, California 95129) at 7 p.m. Go Eagles!

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Talon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *