Paly defeats rival Gunn in three straight sets

The Lady Vikes huddle up before their first league game against Gunn.

Jordan Gans

The Lady Vikes huddle up before their first league game against Gunn.

Jordan Gans, Staff Writer

The Palo Alto High School volleyball team (11-3-0) continued its undefeated season by winning all three games against cross-town rival Gunn High School.

Head coach Dave Winn was pleased with the win against the Titans. The Lady Vikes dominated the first two sets and then finished with a close victory in the third set to win the match.

“I am really proud of them, they knew they were going to be up for a battle tonight with Gunn and they did a great job out there,” Winn said.

In the first set, the Lady Vikes controlled the play. After starting the game off with an ace serve by Shelby Knowles (’13), the momentum stayed with the Vikings as the team jumped to a big lead of 10-3 early in the first set. The Vikings were tough at the service line with two more aces before Molly Fogarty (’15) closed out the first set, 25-13, with another ace.

The next set started off similarly for the Lady Vikes, who scored early with three consecutive kills by Becca Raffel (’14). After a few unforced errors by the Vikes and some competitive play by the Titans, Gunn took its first lead of the night at 7-6. However, the Lady Vikes counterattacked and retook the lead with a kill by Knowles, which started a six-point run for the Paly. Keri Gee (’14) continued the Vikings’ scoring drive with some digs to maintain the lead, followed by Knowles’ three consecutive kills to close the second set 25-16.

“We stayed strong throughout the whole match and they put up a good fight,” Gee said.

Keri Gee ('14) prepairs to serve. Photo by Joran Gans

Paly came out strong in the third set with a quick 3-0 lead after two kills and an ace by Knowles. However, the Titans put up a fight with a four-point streak to tie the game up at 4-4. From that point forward it was a hard-fought battle with both teams neck-and-neck. Fogarty and Knowles both had aces to give Paly a narrow 11-10 lead. The Vikings’ defense would prove too much for the Titans as Bella Graves (’14) and Sophia Bono (’13) both had blocks. This was followed by a dig by Gee to hold the Titans at bay and allow the Vikings to take a 21-18 lead. The Titans continued to fight and after two hitting errors by the Vikes and a kill, Gunn tied the score up at 21. The Lady Vikes would close the night out with a kill by Raffel and an error by the Titans to win the match 25-22.

After her performance tonight Knowles looks to improve her game as well as identify areas that the team needs to work on.

“The team overall needs to improve on playing hard through to the end,” Knowles said. “I thought we did a really good job at the first two sets but we kept letting up. We need to finish out the match.”

The Lady Vikes will play Homestead this Thursday at 6:45 in Cupertino.