Paly volleyball sweeps Homestead on Senior Night

Peter Dennis, Columnist

In their last home game at Palo Alto High School, eight Paly seniors made their mark, sweeping Homestead (4-7, 12-12) in three games on Thursday night.

The eight seniors, middle blocker Jackie Koenig, setter Ally Kron, outside hitter Maddie Kuppe, opposite hitter Caroline Martin, libero Ashley Shin, defensive specialist Tiffany Tsung, middle blocker Melanie Wade and setter Kimmy Whitson were congratulated for their achievements by Paly principal Phil Winston, Paly vice principal Kathie Laurence, and Palo Alto mayor Sid Espinosa. The eight were given flowers from their underclassmen teammates and were introduced along with their parents, siblings, and grandparents

Paly (10-0, 23-3) started off the match in command, immediately jumping to a 4-1 lead. Homestead fought back to cut the lead to one at 8-7. With aces by Kuppe and unforced errors by Homestead outside hitter Emily Reed (’13), Paly climbed back to a 13-8 lead. Kills by Whitson, Wade and Kuppe finished the game off for Paly in commanding fashion, 25-12.

Paly again started the second game with complete control, not ceding a point to the Mustangs until after the first five points, and didn’t give up another until the score was 14-1. The Vikings were led by kills by Wade and Koenig through the 9-0 run. Reed came back for Homestead with a couple of aces and Homestead fought Paly evenly until the end of the game. However, it was not enough. Paly again claimed the second game, 25-9 after an emphatic kill by Wade.

The third game was, surprisingly, also easy for Paly. After a kill by Wade to put Paly ahead 5-2, the Vikings never looked back. Wade finished the night with 12 kills. Aces by Shin kept the Vikings’ lead comfortable, and their lead never fell to within three again. Paly ended the game and match at 25-13. Kuppe and Martin finished the night off with six kills each, and Whitson contributed with eight digs.

“I think it was an all around great effort,” Whitson said. “Everyone put in lots of hard work and it paid off. It was an energetic and fun match.”

Paly plays in the Mipitas Spikefest II tournament on Saturday and will play at Los Gatos High School on Tuesday at 6:45 p.m.