Volleyball beats San Ramon in NorCal semifinals, in three games

Michelle Friedlander, Staff Writer

After winning CCS (Central Coast Section) last week, the Paly (12-0-0, 33-3-0) volleyball team went on to beat the San Ramon Wolves (10-4-0, 35-8-0) in three games, in the NorCal semifinals with scores of 25-20, 25-23, and 25-13.
The Lady Vikes came into the match with a new lineup and struggled a bit at the beginning to get their momentum going.
“We started out a little bit rocky,” new libero Shelby Knowles (‘13) said. “As we kept playing we got better and by the end we got [the new lineup] down.”
The points rallied back and forth for a while in the first set until the Lady Vikes began to gain a lead with Kimmy Whitson (‘12) serving. The Lady Wolves tried to match it with their own serving run, but could not match up to Paly’s lead entirely. After a timeout to get Paly’s momentum going again, the Lady Vikes secured the win for the first set at 25-20.In the second game, San Ramon got an early serving run, but outside hitter Maddie Kuppe (‘12) ended their run with a kill. Later in the game, San Ramon got another serving run, but Paly responded to it with their own serving run to take the lead. The Lady Vikes finished the game off with a block, winning the second set at 25-23.

“[San Ramon] played almost flawlessly in the first two sets so we really had to earn all of our points,” Kuppe said.

The Lady Vikes started off the third set with an early lead with Caroline Martin (‘12) serving. Paly’s next server, Melanie Wade (‘12) increased their lead with another serving run. The Lady Vikes kept their momentum high as they dominated the third set, winning it 25-13.

“Our talking was good, we didn’t have many balls that were just dropping,” Knowles said. “Our communication stayed good throughout the game.”

Although the Lady Vikes played very well, they did have some errors.

“We kept our game at the same level [throughout the match] and we did a great job, aside from serving,” Kuppe said.

Coach Dave Winn agreed that the first set was a little bit off due to the new lineup, but thought his girls executed everything pretty well.

“Most of what we didn’t do well was serving,” Winn said. “We have to serve better than that.”

The Lady Vikes will take on the winner of tonight’s match between St. Francis and Menlo-Atherton on Tuesday.