Varsity girls’ volleyball pulls members from JV due to low numbers October 21, 2023 — by Natalie Chua and Sarah Zhou Photo by Angela TanThe team huddles and encourages each other during their senior night against Homestead on Oct. 18. With many players out sick, the varsity team has been unable to practice diligently and turned to JV players to fill in the numbers. Junior libero Caitlin Lee locked eyes with Homestead’s server and maneuvered to pass the ball. With senior setter Ariel Zhou’s quick set, freshman Aanya Hotha slammed the ball for a point. Despite their efforts, the Falcons fell 3-0 to a tough Homestead team during their senior night home game on Oct. 18. Earlier in the season, when only eight players were available for a game against Fremont on Oct. 4, the girls’ volleyball team managed to scrape by with a tight 3-2 win. However, with the consistently low numbers due to illnesses and other personal conflicts during games, head coach Yakgna Arumugam began pulling JV players onto varsity. “We practice according to how the starters play, and if they don’t show up, then a new player plays in that position. This has made it really hard to adapt to new players,” freshman outside hitter Iris Jin said. With a small roster, the rest of the team has been pushed harder than usual, with starters such as Jin finding themselves overworked. “I think it’s pretty frustrating sometimes because when you’re not playing well, you don’t have anyone to sub in and it feels like you’re the only person who can really step it up and do better,” Jin said. “It’d be better if we had more people on the team. So even if that person isn’t as good as you, you can have a little time to take a break and then get back on the court.” Coach Arumugam pulled up JV players such as freshman outside hitter Aneiya Thomas, and sophomores outside hitter Jena Lew and middle blocker Elizabeth Kline to practice with the varsity team. However, the addition of new players this late in the season was a difficult adjustment for the varsity players, as the JV team practices different drills and has had little time to build team chemistry with the varsity members. “The level on JV and varsity is really different so moving people is tough on both JV and varsity players,” junior setter Narmeen Khericha said. “It’s also hard on the court for us to adjust, and the JV players might not get much play time during games.” Despite this, the Falcons have been resilient in fighting for every point during games. With a 3-0 win against Santa Clara on Oct. 16, a 3-1 loss to Lynbrook on Oct. 11, a 3-2 win against Fremont on Oct. 4, a 3-2 loss to Milpitas and 3-0 loss against Homestead on Oct. 2, the Falcons were in place third in the El Camino Division and held a 5-4 record as of Oct. 20. The team was set to play their last game away to Wilcox on Oct. 23. (The Falcon could not cover that game because of printing deadlines.) “I think we have a good shot at making it to CCS, so we’re all really excited for the competition,” Khericha said. Tags: girls' volleyball, varsity 4 views this weekAbout the contributorsSarah ZhouSarah Zhou, Class of '24, is one of the News Editors of the Falcon’s 2023-24 staff. Along with serving as a School Scope Editor for the 2022-23 staff, she was a Reporter and Layout Artist for the 2021-22 staff. She has authored opinion stories on empty home tax, merit scholarships, and universal healthcare. Sarah has also profiled eagle scouts and written news stories on the COVID-19 Omicron outbreak. In her free time, she enjoys long walks on the beach at sunset with Minsui Tang.