Girls Volleyball Defeats Menlo Atherton in First Pre-Season Game


First pre-season game of the year and the Girls Volleyball Team is off to an exciting start. After last year’s delayed and shortened season due to COVID restrictions, the team is back and better than ever as they faced the Menlo Atherton Bears on Thursday night, August 26th. The Paly girls swept the Bears in three quick sets. 


The Bears fought hard but Paly’s strong offensive game proved too hard to beat. Kill after kill, outside hitters Thea Enache (‘22) and Amelia Vugrincic (‘22) overpowered Menlo Atherton’s defense. 

Defensively, the Vikings put up a tall and strong block that shut down the swings coming from the Bears. With middle Olivia Harrison (‘22) and opposite hitter Alex Franklin (‘22) on the net, Paly’s future opponents are in for some tough matches. 


Her first time playing in the Peery Gym, freshman Sophie Mies wowed the crowd with her strong serves in the first set. Mies’ serves paired with big kills led the Vikings to an 18-25 victory in the first set. 


“I was super nervous for the first five minutes of the game, but I am so glad I got the chance to play,” Mies said. 


In the second set, the Vikings and Bears were neck and neck. Menlo Atherton showed defensive strength, returning Paly’s kills with flawless digs. The score was 17-17 and tensions were rising when a big kill by Vugrincic (‘22) shot right through the Bears block and put Paly back in the lead. The Vikings won the second set 25-21. 


Paly pulled away quickly in the third set with a kill by Harrison (‘22). Leading 8-2 the Vikings were getting pumped up on the court and on the sidelines. A kill by Hailey Callan (‘22) and a big block by Nika Chapin (‘23) brought the game to a close with a 15-25 final score of the third set. 


Coach Chris Crader was happy with the team’s performance on Thursday but hopes to smooth out some plays before the next match. 

“I thought we did a lot of good things and played really hard tonight,” Crader said. “We still need to get organized on a couple of plays and scenarios.” 


With graduated seniors Katie Cheng, Trisha Razdan, Sophia Krugler, and Kylie Mies off to college this year, the team has lost some valuable players. However, with new players joining the varsity team, there’s no doubt the girls will be able to fill the shoes of the departed seniors.


With fans allowed back in the stands and a lineup of exciting matches, Paly students and parents are in for another great season of Paly Girls Volleyball.