Girls’ volleyball pushes through injury-ridden season

September 30, 2022 — by Natalie Chua and Ariel Zhou
Photo by Emma Fung
Senior libero Noor Khan hits the ball in their game against Lynbrook. The Falcons ultimately lost 3-0.
Despite two of their starting players being injured, the team has been working hard during practice to make up for their losses.

Editor’s Note: This story contains some information from a pre-existing story. You can view the story here.

Hoping to rebound from last year’s disappointments, 4-12 (Overall), 2-10 (League), the girls’ volleyball team started out their season with the news that two varsity players, sophomore right side Dahlia Murthy and junior defensive specialist Natalie Chua, would not be returning.

However, the rest of the team remained intact due to the lack of graduating players. Additionally, seven out of the 12 players on the team this year are seniors, giving the team strong leadership.

Despite positions staying relatively unchanged this year, the team’s on-court dynamic has hit some rough patches, with practices being inconsistent and awkward due to switches in positions.

“Our team’s chemistry is questionable sometimes,” sophomore outside hitter Emmy Pak said. “Some people are closer friends with some than others, and you can tell that on the court with how we play and our overall energy.”

The team also faced trouble when one of their key players, senior outside hitter Lisa Fung, injured her hand at the start of the season, which kept her from playing for six weeks. Additionally, senior setter and right side Joanna Song had to sit out during the last two sets in the game against Prospect High on Aug. 30 due to a knee injury. Because both Fung and Song tend to contribute a large number of the team’s points, the injuries were a big blow to the team’s dynamic on the court. 

Through teamwork and perseverance, the girls’ volleyball team managed to win first in the yellow division during the Spikefest tournament on Sept. 3, beating Christopher High, 2-0; Independence High, 2-0; and Fremont High, 2-0. 

Even with this victory during Spikefest, another mishap occurred when their other key hitter, Emerson Pak, had an ankle injury during their game against Wilcox High, which resulted in a loss. Missing their two starting hitters, Fung and Pak, the team had a rocky start to their league games with a 3-1 win against Fremont on Sept. 13, and losses against Wilcox High on Sept. 8, 3-0; Homestead High on Sept. 15, 3-2; Lynbrook High on Sept. 20, 3-0; and Milpitas High on Sept. 22, 3-1.  

With a current record of 8-8, the team has felt the consequences of having so many injured players, yet the team is also striving to improve with the help of Fung and other senior co-captains libero Noor Khan, libero Maaheen Khericha and middle Anika Koganti. Always giving their full effort, they act as role models and encourage players to try their best, boosting everyone’s spirits while also working on the team’s goal of bonding and forming connections with one another to become close both on and off the court. 

“Although we have our own set of challenges, playing with the team is really fun and I love talking to everyone,” Pak said. “We have many seniors this year, so we really need to make this year count. I’m super excited to see what happens.”

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