Dougherty Suffers Loss Against Cal

Veronica Liow, Managing Editor

Uneasiness was felt on Sept. 17 among not only the players but also the crowd, as they sat on the edge of their seats in anticipation. Would Dougherty Valley finally break Cal High’s winning streak or would Cal seize another win?

Although Jordan Minney’s strategic tips and Niki Cavote’s crowd-shaking hits led Dougherty Valley to a win in the third set against Cal High, it just wasn’t enough to turn the game around for a Dougherty Valley win.

Cal’s steady defense prevailed in the first set as DV staggered overall, letting Cal’s #1, Allison Hu, score consistent points. In some instances, Dougherty Valley’s libero, Katie Kim, digged and passed the ball high enough for setter, Shruti Magnipudi, to assist in another kill.

Cal’s offense was still steady during the second set, and it seemed as if Dougherty Valley was playing on the defensive side. Just when Minney and Cavote led the team on a four-point streak, Cal regained its focus and ended the second game at 25-15.

Suddenly, Dougherty cleaned up its act in the third set. The crowd roared with enthusiasm as Cavote’s powerful hits echoed booms that radiated around the gym.

When asked how it felt to score points for her teammates, Cavote responded, “Scoring points, especially kills, is really exhilarating because I know that my team gets fired up too.”

Dougherty transformed into an offense machine, with hits from both Eloise O’Loane and Minney, as Cal struggled to maintain its defense.

According to Cal coach Todd Baham, the hardest part “is keeping them intense”. He also expressed his concerns towards the lack of focus, which resulted in a “hiccup”, or loss, after two major wins. In the end, Dougherty was able to win the set 25-12.

The fourth set started out as a head on head collision. Multiple rallies with the rhythmic “bump, set, hit” paralleled the racing heartbeats of the crowd.

Olivia Pomeroy, Cal varsity volleyball captain, stated that in order to bring back a team after consecutive losses, “you have to just really get through their minds that they want to be playing well and that they should want to get the ball back.”

Cal, to Dougherty Valley’s dismay, was able to regain its intense motivation, resulting in Cal’s win 25-15.

When asked about the biggest challenge during the game, DV Coach Cincotta replied, “Mentally the team was very nervous and intimidated from the start of the match. DVHS has never beat Cal High in volleyball so our team didn’t come out confidently. Instead the team played tentatively, which led to many unforced errors. The team needs to get better at anticipating what is going to happen rather than waiting to actually see it. Too many balls are dropping because players are not reacting to the play fast enough.”

Nonetheless, it is still early in the season, so there is much room for improvement as the season continues.

As Coach Baham says, “They’ll get better as we go along.”