Girls’ Volleyball Slays Dragons

Madeleine Singh, Sports Editor

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Varsity volleyball crushed Bishop O’Dowd 3-0 in the Division II North Coast Section championship on November 12. The win was especially satisfying to the team after their 2015 NCS championship loss to the Dragons.

After winning the first two sets 25-18 and 25-17, the Cougars closed the door on the defending champions 25-11 in the 3rd set.

“I feel like we were in control for most of the game; it was just really fun to go out with teammates and have a really good time, and then take care of it in 3 [sets],” said senior setter Lauren Pak.

“We’ve been chasing this for the last three years,” said head coach John Vuong, referencing the team’s losses in the 2013, 2014, and 2015 section championship games. “We came close the last few years and now we finally got it, and the girls deserve it.”

Highlights of the game included 6 aces from junior Cameron Blakely, 15 kills from senior Sabrina Smith, 12 digs by senior Emily VanKoll, and 11 kills from senior Janelle Gong.

Students, parents, and teachers roared as the team won the final point of the match. Many joined the team on the court in celebration.

“My first NCS experience was surreal,” said junior outside hitter Izzy Artiaga. “We went into it confident that whatever the result was, we knew that we did everything we could to prepare for the finals. Everyone on the team has each other’s back and we’ve become a family over the last 3 months,” she added.

“I’m so happy for the seniors, just so happy for them. Everybody wanted to play for them and it really showed,” said assistant coach Scott Tay, who was a new addition to the team’s coaching staff for the 2016 season.

“Getting to be a part of this special team, even if it has only been for a little while, has been a spectacular experience that I will never forget,” said sophomore Sarah Carrasco, who was moved up to varsity after her junior varsity squad finished its regular season. “Everyone has worked so hard this season, especially the seniors, and they couldn’t be more deserving of this win.”

The team is now preparing to compete in NorCal Regional games in order to qualify for the CIF State Championship in early December.

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