Volleyball sweeps Gunn in CCS Quarterfinals

Peter Dennis, Columnist

The Palo Alto High School varsity volleyball team (12-0,  31-3) swept rival Gunn High School (1-11, 15-20) in three games Thursday night in Paly’s first game of the CCS tournament.

Earlier in the day, four Paly starters signed to continue their play at the collegiate level. Melanie Wade (’12) will play at University of Washington, Maddie Kuppe (’12) at University of Connecticut, Kimmy Whitson (’12) at the University of Pacific, and Caroline Martin (’12) at Connecticut College.

Paly entered the game ranked 28th in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Volleyball Rankings. Although Gunn drew first blood, starting the match off with an ace from Alyn Shen (’12), Paly tied the game up. The Lady Vikes did not lose their lead once a Wade kill made it 2-1. At the first timeout, Paly’s lead was 9-3. Despite loud cheers from the Gunn section, the Titans were unable to regain a tie nor a lead. The Lady Vikes’ unforced errors seemed to give Gunn a fighting chance as the Titans brought the lead back to 12-10, but the first game ended with Paly ahead by a score of 25-19.

Gunn again started off the second game with the first point, and the game waffled between the two with neither team gaining more than a two point advantage. With kills from Whitson and Jackie Koenig (’12), the Vikings pulled ahead 12-7 and didn’t look back. Paly extended their lead to 25-17 to finish off the game.

At 3-3 the third game started with both teams neck and neck, but Paly to 6-4 with a Kuppe kill. Gunn pulled back to 7-5 with kills from Lena Latour (’13) but paly doubled up the score at 12-6 and at that point the game was over. Paly pulled away off kills from Wade and Kuppe. At the 20 point mark the lady vikes started subbing and ended the game on a 6-2 run, winning 25-17.

Paly’s CCS run continues Thursday, Nov. 17 against Salinas High School in the semifinals at Milpitas High School at 5:30 p.m.