Girls’ volleyball: team makes its way to CCS, loses in semi finals to Notre Dame-Belmont

November 27, 2009 — by Aanchal Mohan

After obstacles during the season such as adopting new middles and tough league competition, the girls’ volleyball team managed to pull themselves through, placing third overall in the De Anza League and qualifying for the Central Coast Sections (CCS) playoffs.

“The season flew by really fast,” said senior co-captain Chelsea Sabella. “Hopefully, we [will] last a while in CCS.”

The Falcons started off CCS with a win (3-0) against Notre Dame-Belmont on Nov. 14 leading them to the semi-finals. They then went on to play Valley Christian and lost 4-1.

“We played them earlier in the season and it was our best game of the season and we beat them,” said senior co-captain Nicole Gragnola. “We [the team] weren’t all on together so it was a tough game.”

If the Falcons had won the game against Valley Christian, they would have made it into the finals and possibly from there on to states.

“I think we had a pretty good chance [at going to state finals],” said junior middle Megan Brading. “Compared to the other teams, I think we were up there.”

Even though Falcons didn’t win CCS, they have a season that they can look back on with pride. Throughout the season they only lost four games, one to Mountain View, twice to Palo Alto and one to Los Gatos, out of the 13 games during their league play.

“This year we had a really close bond with each other,” said senior setter Alysia Patel. “We’ve been improving a lot each year.”

Even though this year the team managed to patch up the gap of losing their outstanding middles from the class of 2009, next year they will have to fill in an even bigger hole when their four seniors, Nicole Gragnola, Chelsea Sabella, Alysia Patel, and Emily Baba graduate.

“If everyone commits over summer and plays club volleyball they can all improve a lot,” said Gragnola. “We lost a lot of big players last year also and by playing club we improved so much it helped us a lot [during the season].

Some players from JV who could help next year are sophomore Gabbi Emerson, opposite hitter, and sophomore Jennifer Lydon, outside hitter.

“We really need to prepare for next year,” said Brading. “We’re going to have to pick up a lot of not as experienced players from JV next year.”

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