Volleyball drops close match to Los Gatos on Senior Night

Pippa Raffel, Staff Writer

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After an intense back-and-forth match on Tuesday, the Paly volleyball team was unable to top league rival Los Gatos, losing to the Wildcats in five games.

This last regular season home game was the senior night for the team, and honored seniors Sophia Bono and Shelby Knowles, the team captains who have been on the varsity squad for two and four years, respectively.

After the players and their families honored the seniors, the game began with two consecutive points for the Wildcats, however after a lengthy rally, the Lady Vikes came back, scoring three points in a row. After a controversial call on a kill by Becca Raffel (‘14) and a little miscommunication among the team, coach Dave Win called a timeout with the Wildcats leading 5-3. After an out-of-bounds call favoring the Vikings, and effective serves by the their front line, Paly took back the lead 15-10.

Jade Schoenberger (’15) slams the ball into the Los Gatos Wildcats’ territory.

The Lady Vikes continued their scoring streak until Los Gatos called a timeout with the score at 18-13, and with the assistance of a kill by Raffel for the set point, the Vikings took the set 25-21.

The second set started off with an out of bounds kill by Raffel, however the Wildcats’ attempt to lengthen their lead failed with a kill that did not go over the net and the teams were once again tied 1-1.

With the help of two kills in a row by Raffel, the Lady Vikes increased their score, however Los Gatos increased their score as well until they were leading, 9-7.

The Wildcats had taken the lead at 19-18 when the first time out of the set was called, but the teams remained evenly matched as they were tied for the seventh time at 19-19. Paly however began to fall behind and at set point Los Gatos led 24-21. The Wildcats ended up winning the set 25-22.

“We just made too many uncharacteristic, unforced errors” Winn said.

Unlike in the first two sets, Paly won the first point in the third set, however quickly fell behind when Los Gatos scored four consecutive points, taking a quick 5-1 lead.

After being  a tie 10-10, the Lady Vikes took back the lead for the first time since the first point of the set, but Paly miscues gave the Wildcats a  21-14 advantage that soon turned into a 25-17 set win.

Paly took the first two points of the of the fourth set but once again the Lady Vikes fell behind, this time 10-4 by the time another timeout was called. Los Gatos continued to dominate, however the Lady Vikes began to come back again with the help of the defensive digs from Keri Gee (‘14), until the score was 18-17, with Los Gatos still leading.

A kill from Knowles tied up the teams 23-23 and a second kill from Knowles put the Lady vikes in the lead 24-23. Finally, completing the hat trick, Knowles killed the last ball for a come back win in the set, 25-23.

Los Gatos came into the first set strong strong, leading 4-1 at the first time out. After a pep-talk from Winn during the timeout and two kills in a row from Raffel, the teams rallied until Los Gatos finally took the set 15-11.

“It is really hard to maintain that level of intensity and to try to come back every time” Winn said. “We fought hard, but I am hoping they learn that we can’t play like that.”

The Lady Vikes will be facing Gunn on Nov. 1 at 6:45 p.m. in the Titan’s gym. The game against Paly’s cross-town rival will be the teams’ last regular season game.

“I think this team is really good at looking past losses, and it anything it will motivate us to do better because we are very excited to face Gunn on Thursday” Raffel said.