Women’s Volleyball narrowly defeats Dublin Gaels


Sheyda Ladjevardi

Wildcats’ Women’s Volleyball huddles to discuss game strategy before the first set.

Dougherty Valley Women’s Volleyball conquered the Dublin Gaels 3-2 in the final home game of the season on Oct. 18. Despite suffering a loss in the first set, Dougherty triumphed in the second and fourth sets while losing in the third. Evenly-matched, the Wildcats were not discouraged and barely defeated the Gaels in the final set by two points.

The Wildcats lost the first set against the Gaels, 25-22. A blocking error from Dougherty handed the Gaels the first point of the game. However, after Dublin spiked the ball out and junior Elizabeth Lee committed three consecutive aces, the Wildcats took the lead, 4-1. The Gaels soon caught up and stayed head-to-head with the Wildcats for the rest of the set. At 24-22, a kill from Dublin senior Colette Florentin ended the set with a Gael victory.

“I was confident, but I was watching some mistakes being made that aren’t normal mistakes,” Head Coach Pat Hallahan said.

Despite this loss, Dougherty went on to win the second set, 25-23. Initially, the Wildcats and the Gaels kept up with each other, but a kill from Florentin powered Dublin into a lead of 13-10, after which Dublin began to pull ahead to 17-12. The Wildcats were able to eventually catch up after a kill from sophomore Shrena Sudhakar put the Wildcats in the lead at 18-17. Dougherty was victorious after a block from the Gaels landed out of bounds.

The Gaels won the third set, 25-23. A block from sophomores Ofure Iselen and Alivia Gee earned the Wildcats the first point of this set. Once again, neither the Gaels nor the Wildcats were able to build a significant lead over each other throughout the set. At 24-23, with Dublin in the lead, a dink (a legal push of the ball around or over blockers) from Dublin junior Ciera Shelton earned the Gaels another win.

Not discouraged by the Gaels’ two victories so far, Dougherty dominated the fourth set, winning 25-19. Two kills from Dublin junior Talia Southon put the Gaels in the lead. However, the Wildcats caught up and stole the lead after a kill from sophomore Sarah Yao. The Wildcats were able to maintain their lead for the rest of the set. At 24-19, an attack from Dublin sophomore Brya Ashley that hit the net helped the Wildcats win their second set of the night.

Entering the fifth set of the game, Lee said, “Our whole team was hyped up and we all really wanted to win, so we brought all of our energy onto the court.”

In the tiebreaker set of the game, the Wildcats triumphed 16-14. The Gaels started the fifth set in the lead with a serve from sophomore Addison Paul failing to clear the net followed by a kill from Florentin. The Wildcats were able to come back with a kill from Yao, which evened the score at 5-5. The Wildcats continued to pull ahead until a kill from Florentin brought the score to 11-10.

At 14-14, the two teams were tied again after a serve from Lee landed out of bounds. A foul from Dublin helped Dougherty regain the lead. After a serve from sophomore Olivia Knight, a down ball (a ball that is hit overhand and driven over the net with topspin while the player remains standing) from Ashley failed to cross the net and resulted in a Wildcat victory.

“I thought we played really cohesively as a team,” Yao said. “We worked well together and focused on our team goal as well as our individual goals and kept fighting throughout the game.”

Women’s Volleyball ended the season with a 10-13 overall record and a 6-12 league record. However, the team felt proud to finish with a victory.

“It was the best way to end the season,” Hallahan said. “Dublin had nothing to lose tonight, so the girls really had to step it up.”