MVHS started off strong in the first set, which was shown in the 25-17 set win.
“We were hoping for a good, consistent level of play,” senior and team captain Ellie Cary said. “We want to make sure everyone has a positive attitude towards the game.”
Cary spikes the ball over the net for an MVHS point during the first set.
As the set progressed and both teams began to calm down, the Matadors started to lose their confidence and the second set began to slip away with each team matching the game point by point.
“I think we just got a little bit tense and nervous and made a couple mistakes,” Anderson said. “And so we let [HHS] back into the game.”
HHS scores a point against the Matadors during the second set.
MVHS suffered however when junior Alia Johnson was injured just halfway into the first set with a bad landing on her ankle. She sat out for the rest of the game. Coach Colin Anderson explains that Johnson has one of the best hitting percentages in the league, making her injury a big loss for the team. He added that he was extremely proud and impressed by the other players that had stepped up in her place.
“In a sense, we wanted to play for [Johnson] so we tried really hard, and that was our motivation,” senior Victoria Whall said.
Johnson leaves the court during the first set due to injury.
After MVHS lost the second set 25-22, each team had one set and the game grew closer and closer. At the end of the second set, Anderson motivated his players, explaining what was going well and what needed work. But most importantly, he told them that they just had to play their game and do what they knew best.
And the Matadors did just that, winning the third set by a score of 25-20 and the fourth by a score of 25-19.
“We had good energy, some good confidence, and we stayed aggressive,” Anderson said. “So I was really happy with how we closed out this game.”
MVHS shakes hands with the HHS players after defeating them by a score of 3-1.
With just under half the season left, MVHS continues to practice hard with hopes of winning the league. Both Cary and Anderson explain that although the team is currently fourth in the league, this goal could easily become reality. They claim that all they need is positivity, motivation and the willingness to work hard.
“This is a really tight league, and anybody can beat anybody, so we have to show up and play a good game, just like we did here today,” Anderson said.
Reporting by Om Khandekar