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The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

Girls varsity volleyball beat the Weston Wildcats furthering their chances for playoff contention

The girls varsity volleyball team beat the Weston Wildcats 3-2 on Monday, Oct. 16 in the Schluntz Gymnasium for their sixth win in a row.

The girls varsity volleyball team beat the Weston Wildcats 3-2 on Monday, Oct. 16 in the Schluntz Gymnasium for their sixth win in a row. The Warriors need one more win to clinch a playoff spot.

The Warriors played against the Wildcats a couple weeks ago and lost 2-3 in a close match. Senior and captain Charlotte Mullen said the Warriors used that loss to fuel their motivation to win.

“We went to five sets with them and we went into this game really wanting to beat them, knowing we could beat them, and knowing if we started off strong we would,” Mullen said.

And the Warriors achieved their goal, starting with a number of aces and maintaining energy throughout the gym. Just a couple minutes into the first set, the Warriors were up 14-4. As the set continued, the points grew longer with more back and forth between the two teams, but the Warriors came out victorious for the majority of them.

With the score at 23-10, senior and captain Annika Epstein hit an ace, bringing the score to 24-10, one point away from winning the first set. Freshman Noga Naveh then hit the ball into an open hole to win the first set.

The second set started with the Wildcats up 2-0. The Warriors tied it up with a hit on the line and a block. The score remained balanced over the next couple of points, with sophomore Emilie Ferdinand scoring multiple points and sophomore Bella Bacon making many saving dives.

With the score tied at 18-18, the Wildcats went on a hot streak, scoring seven points in a row and winning the second set.

The third set began similarly to the second with the Warriors earning a 5-1 lead. As the set progressed, the Wildcats caught up, and the remainder of the set became a back and forth battle.

Sophomore Stasya Budnik and Ferdinand continuously found spaces on the court, keeping the set competitive. After a 24-23 lead for the Wildcats, the Warriors put on a fight with a series of defensive saves and returns but ultimately lost after hitting the ball into the net.

Even with the Warriors down 1-2 at the beginning of the fourth set, head coach Caitlin Sobolewski said she had faith in the team.

“Some of the calls by the refs weren’t going our way and I think some players in the opposing team were not being the most sportsmanlike and I just said we had to refocus and play our volleyball,” Sobolewski said.

With spirits and tensions high in the gym, the fourth set began. Once again, the set was competitive, with many hard fought points.

Epstein and Ferdinand had a number of powerful hits and blocks leading to big cheers from the Brookline fans. Mullen also set the ball up for a number of powerful hits from junior Laurel Zahka.

Once the score reached 17-15 for the Warriors, they seemed uplifted, going on an eight point streak, winning the set 25-16.

As the fifth set began, the atmosphere was booming with Brookline and Weston fans’ cheers. The Wildcats started with a 2-0 lead. Next point, Budnik came up with a big block and the Brookline crowd erupted. Mullen then tied it up with an ace.

The game intensified with every point as either team hit and dove, trying desperately to secure a point.

After the Warriors broke a 5-5 tie with a missed hit from the Wildcats, each play grew more intense. With Naveh hitting two aces in a row and Epstein scoring multiple points with Zahka, the score rested at 12-8.

The Warriors momentum only grew from there and they won the fifth set 15-9, winning the game 3 sets to 2.

Sobolewski said that she never lost faith in the team.

“This is our fifth time going to a five set match so we have a lot more experience seeing high intensity and high emotional sets. We don’t panic, even increasing our intensity toward the end. Even in that fifth set, I had full confidence we would go home with a win,” Sobolewski said.

Mullen said over the last couple of games, it has really felt like the team is coming together.

“As a team we played really well. We trusted each other and communicated, especially in the fourth and fifth sets. We also kept the energy high,” Mullen said.

Sobolewski said she is proud of how the team has grown and is excited for upcoming games.

“I’m proud of how this team has progressed since we last faced the Wildcats. As far as individual players and as a team unit they’re so different from when we last played this team,” Sobolewski said. “It feels really good to beat a strong program like Weston and I’m excited to see what we can do from here.”

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