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Girls volleyball celebrates great season

Volleyball performed extremely well at their tournaments this season, making it all the way to sections. Photo by Derek Warner

In their return to a normal season, girls volleyball has had immense success, qualifying for the state playoffs, taking a set from California’s best, and beating their longtime rivals twice. 

Bruin girls volleyball went 10-0 during the regular season, and proceeded to win their first postseason game. They went on to play Ripon Christian, falling 3-1 to the #1 seed in the state in the semi-finals. They are now out of the running for sections but are not out of the playoffs. 

Junior Sarah DeSart voiced the pride she had in her team’s success, despite their limitations. 

“I think our goal for the postseason, after states and stuff, was just to try our hardest,” she said. “We know that we’re a really small school. There’s not a lot of people to pick from for the team so going into the sections we know that the odds are a little stacked against us. We tried our best last night and made it to the semi-finals and that’s pretty good for the size of our school.”

Varsity Volleyball Head Coach Matt MacDonald explained the goals he had going into the season.

“Our goal at the beginning of the year was to win our league; we wanted to beat Colfax twice,” he said. “We accomplished that so we’re 10-0. But our other goal is [that] we wanted to make the NorCal playoffs. We’ve qualified for the state playoffs. We wanted to qualify for state and we did that.”

Junior Audri Cha expressed what her goals were going into playoffs. 

“As far as I can get, probably,” she said. “I enjoy this sport very much, so as far as I can take it.”

MacDonald detailed some of the biggest reasons for his team’s success. 

“When you have a year like this, I think a lot of things have to go right,” he said. “I think, predominantly, we got a great group of leaders. We were able to stay healthy. We’ve committed to just growing. We’ve come so far from where we started in August. The group’s incredibly committed, I think that’s a part of it. They’re committed to trying to get better. It’s really shown and we’re peaking at the right time.”

He continued identifying the source of the leadership he talked about.

“It kind of starts with our Senior leadership,” he said. “We’ve got Liah Fuller being our captain this year. She’s one of our leaders on the court and off the court. Lauren Richert, Arden Franks, Molly Fowler, Jordan Foster, and Heaven. Those are our six Seniors that we have and they’ve all at one point in this year led us, showed us how to practice and that type of stuff; how to work.”

DeSart and Cha added to this talking about how tight the group has been this year.

“I feel like there hasn’t been a lot of cliqueiness on the team,” said DeSart. “We all get along really well and, obviously, we’re 10-0, we’ve had a really good season in general. We’re all friends and I think that helps a lot.”

“I would say team bonding,” Cha said. “We all kind of didn’t know each other because of COVID-19 last year, and so now we have a year to actually try to have a good season without hurting anyone. I would say our response to that is us playing all as a team.”

MacDonald acknowledged what the highlight of the season was to him.

“I think for me, in a weird way, the highlight was just watching us overcome so much adversity early in the year with COVID protocols and with different things that we had to go through,” he said. “It tested our depth, it required our kids to play a lot of different positions and do a lot of different things. I think that watching our group persevere through that- we have twelve kids on the roster and all twelve contribute on this team in major roles and I think that depth that we built during COVID, during those trying times when we were missing a couple kids. It helped us to get to where we are today. That to me is the highlight because now we have a roster that is twelve deep. It’s powerful when you can do that.”

DeSart identified two events as her highlights of the season. 

“Beating Colfax twice,” she said. “And then, the second game, just killing them in three sets was probably a very big highlight. And having the big student sections and stuff. [There’ve] been a couple really good student sections, actually, and that’s really helped.”

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Girls volleyball celebrates great season