Photo credits to Patrick Lam
On Thursday, the girls volleyball team celebrated their senior night with a win against the Carlmont Scots in four sets, adding another win to their undefeated league record. Both players and fans were excited after a pre-game recognition of all 15 graduating seniors on both teams. M-A seniors Aria Sokol, Samantha Lin, Sadie Scherer, Faith Te’o, Carley Gracia, and Kate Budinger were honored with signs, gifts, and a large student section.
Sokol said, “I was super excited. I wanted to perform well for the crowd too so I was a little nervous.”
20 minutes later, the first set began with all six M-A seniors on the court. Despite an early 4-1 lead from the Scots, the Bears’ energy was renewed especially after juniors Eline, Duru Ruacan, Sarah Littlefield, and Sienna Morales entered the game, spurring the Bears’ offense with multiple kills and digs, making the score 14-11. The remainder of the first set stayed close, with Eline leading the offense. An ace from junior Meki Maile closed the set with 25-21.
The Bears and the Scots were neck-and-neck in the second set. This set was filled with long rallies largely due to the strong blocking by Eline, Sokol, Morales, and Littlefield, as well as the diligent defense by junior libero Kiela King and Gracia. Junior Meki Maile, a consistent and powerful server, also scored several aces. The set ended with a 25-22 M-A win after Sokol’s successful hit.
Flawless sets by Lin and Maile helped the hitters deliver impressive kills in the third set. However, Carlmont’s offense, which hit deep into the court, proved too much for the Bears to handle. The Bears lost this set with the Scots on top, 25-20. Lin said, “Carlmont really brought out their fire. We had to work with each other to bring up our energy and compete harder with them and finish it off in the fourth set.”
The Bears maintained a big lead throughout the fourth set, bringing out their hustle and grit. Lin said, “We definitely went into the fourth set super determined to win, not only for our record but most importantly for senior night.” With several astonishing saves by King and a final kill by Eline, the Bears emerged victorious 25-19.
Lin also added, “We were all able to stay calm and focused while having fun during the game even in the fourth set.”
Gracia described what the game meant to her, saying, “This is where I met some of my closest friends. I’m happy we all got to play on the court together for one last time in our home gym and experience the ceremony together. All the seniors started on the court during most of the sets and it was really special to be able to all play and win together for the final home game.”
The Bears will play their last league match against Hillsdale on Tuesday at 6:15 pm before heading off to playoffs.