Girls’ volleyball prepares for their season in the upper league September 18, 2017 — by Karen Chow Permalink Racing across the court, senior setter Dasha Gousseva maneuvered around her teammates as she tried to set up a play during a tough match against Los Altos on Sept. 15. She dived for the ball and set it perfectly to senior outside Riley Carter, who smashed the ball down for the game winning point, finishing the second set with a 25-17 victory. Such highlights didn’t happen enough in the Sept. 14 match vs. Los Altos, which the Falcons lost 3-1.The Eagles took the first set 25-14, but the Falcons were able to grab the second set. With the match 1-1, the Falcons fought hard, but lost 25-20 in the third set and 25-23 in the fourth. The game was led by Carter with 13 kills and junior outside Katie Hulme with 10 kills. “I think we played really amazing as a team this game,” Carter said. “We fought hard the whole way through and I think it was one of our best games so far.” The away game against Leigh High school on Sept. 11 ended in a 3-0 win for the Falcons. The first set, which the girls won 25-16, was led by Carter’s quick hits and strong blocks. The Falcons kept their momentum, winning the second set 25-21 and the third set 25-22, successfully ending their 2017 preseason. On Sept. 9, the Falcons headed to Notre Dame High in Salinas for their first tournament. The girls were able to win second in the bronze division. During pool play — a no-elimination bracket — the girls lost to Catalina 2-0 and Carmel 2-0. After pool play, the Falcons played in the bronze bracket — the lowest bracket competing for either eighth, ninth or 10th place — in which they lost the first match to Notre Dame 2-1. The girls beat Pioneer 2-0. Earlier, on Sept. 7, the Falcons lost 3-1 during an away game against Branham High. Junior libero Michelle Vu led the defense, diving on the floor for difficult passes, allowing the Falcons to win 25-22 in the first set. However, the girls had trouble returning Branham’s quick hits, and the Bruins took the second set 26-24. The girls fell short in the third and fourth games, losing 25-23 and 25-14. “We started off really strong and everyone was hyped to win,” Vu said. “But I think our defense was shaky in the last three sets because we were not able to pick up a lot of their hits.” On Sept. 6, the team dominated against Del Mar in an away game, winning 3-0. The girls won the first set 25-17, the second set 26-24 and finally the third set 25-14. A home game against Harker on Sept. 5, ended in a 3-0 loss for the Falcons. The girls lost the first set 25-13 but continued to put up a fight in the second and third sets, despite losing 25-20 and 25-22. Due to printing deadlines, the Falcon could not cover the tournament at Westmoor High School on Sept. 19 and the game against Palo Alto High School on Sept. 21.