Girls volleyball falls to #1 Palo Alto in four games

Girls volleyball falls to #1 Palo Alto in four games

Nate Bradford

Palo Alto 3, Mountain View 1

Hoping to bounce back from their defeat on Tuesday against Los Gatos, the girls volleyball team came into their game Thursday night with one goal in mind: to upset first place Palo Alto. With their 6 footers, Becky Slattery and Hayley Sturgeon,  and freshman sensation Chanti Holroyd, the Spartans looked as though they had a good chance of accomplishing this goal.

The Spartans started the game off well with Sturgeon rising up and smashing a well set ball by Megan Robinson through the arms of an outstretched Palo Alto blocker and then coming up with a solid block on the next play. As the first game wore on, Palo Alto wouldn’t go away and showed resilience as they stayed within Mountain View until the Spartans were able to go on a 5-0 run after a series of nice plays by Chanti Holroyd which included a sweet angle kill. Shortly after, Becky Slattery finished off the reeling Vikings with a violent hit that ricocheted off of a Palo Alto defensive specialist out of bounds.

After switching sides, Mountain View came back onto the court looking to go up 2-0 on Palo Alto, but were unpleasantly surprised by what seemed like a completely different Palo Alto team.

“Palo Alto made several key adjustments and we couldn’t counter those adjustments. After a great first game, emotionally we let down a little bit,” said Spartan Coach Mac when asked why MV lost momentum after the first game.

The Vikings quickly established a 5-0 lead in the second game and did not let up for the rest of the game. Everything was going right for Palo Alto as Keri Gee made a diving dig which kept the rally alive that resulted in a point for the Vikings, putting them up 12-4. Miscommunication and other small, but critical errors haunted the Spartans for the rest of the game as they were not able to recover from Palo Alto’s quick start and fell 25-17 in Game 2.

The Spartans seemed to have worked out their problems from the second game as they hung tight with Palo Alto for most of the first part of the match resulting in a score of 13-10 after a missed hit by a Palo Alto player. Mountain View was not able to hold on for long though as the Vikings went on a 15-7 run immediately following their blunder resulting in another 25-17 Vikings win.

As the Spartans took the court down 2-1 there seemed to be little hope left. Palo Alto dominated the fourth and final game with little resistance from a frustrated Mountain View team and took the game 25-14 resulting in a 3-1 Viking victory.

After the defeat the Spartans were not too down on themselves and seemed optimistic for the next game stating that they simply had to fix some minor problems. When asked what they needed to improve on, Bailey Rogers stated, “Communicating and hustling to every ball. We keep letting balls drop in the middle of the floor.”

After the game, Hayley Sturgeon did not show any signs of giving up. She maintained that the team’s goal is “to make CCS and move up to 3rd place in league.”

The Spartans, now 2-2 and 4th place in the Santa Clara Valley League, hope to decrease the margin between themselves and 3rd place Homestead Tuesday when they travel to Palo Alto to face 5th place Gunn.