Girls volleyball prepares for Almont League

Sophomore Sally Smith Jumps to hit the ball as seniors Elaine Ha (16) and ShanShan Zhou (2) prepare for the return. THE AZTEC/RODOLFO ARIAS
Sophomore Sally Smith Jumps to hit the ball as seniors Elaine Ha (16) and ShanShan Zhou (2) prepare for the return. THE AZTEC/RODOLFO ARIAS

The Mark Keppel girls volleyball team lost its preseason match against Temple City by a score of 0-3 on Thursday, September 10th. The Aztecs lost the three sets 26-28, 14-25, and 25-27.

The match was originally planned to be at Temple City High School but was moved to Keppel. The first set stayed close from start to end, with the teams exchanging points. The Aztecs were able to build a 21-18 lead by scoring 5 straight from a 12-18 deficit. After a long rally and spike by junior Sarah Kim, the Aztecs held a 25-24 lead but needed one more score to win the set.

Unfortunately for the Aztecs, they were unable to maintain this lead, eventually losing the set, 26-28. The second set was not as close as the first. Though the Aztecs were able to pull within a point at 14-15, Temple City scored 10 points in a row to close the set, 14-25. The Aztecs were able to rebound in the third set, jump ing out to an early lead behind multiple good hits by senior Elaine Ha.

However, the lead quickly disappeared and the Aztecs trailed for most of the set. After a long rally that resulted in a Keppel point, the Aztecs were able to regain the lead, 24- 23. Temple City did not give up, however, and battled back to take the set, 25-27, and the match.

The loss for Keppel also resulted in a couple of injuries to their players. Junior Kristyn Lee slammed her chin on the floor diving for a ball and was forced to leave the game to receive stitches. On the very last play of the game, Ha sustained a very painful cramp from which she has made a full recovery.

Following the game, senior and captain ShanShan Zhuo said, “We did well at talking and com- municating with each other and playing with a lot of energy.” Senior Jasmine Banh also complimented the team’s focus and energy but said, “We need to work on getting our passing down and hesitate less.”

The volleyball team will start Almont League play on October 1st against Alhambra but have been preparing since summer. Their practices consist of running a mile, then practicing serve-receive. Coach Francis Chu said, “We spend a lot of time drilling fun- damentals. We focus on serve- receive because if that is executed at a high percentage, we are usually winning or close to winning.”

The team is planning on improving their 0-10 record from last year, but it is not their fore- most goal. “Our goal is to be the best that we can be,” Zhuo said.

Chu echoed her sentiments, saying, “My hope is to be proud of their effort and focus at the end of every game…we plan on being competitive in league.”


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