On Wednesday, Nov. 2, the girls volleyball team (17-14 overall, 9-5 Peninsula Athletic League) defeated Willow Glen (17-12 overall, 8-6 Blossom Valley Athletic League) in straight sets in their first match of the Central Coast Section playoffs, winning 25-10, 25-18 and 25-17.
After falling behind early in the first set 3-2, the Lady Dons regained their composure, and exploded for a 13-1 run that put them up 16-4.
The red and black were nothing short of dominant throughout the opening set. Senior outside hitter and captain Melanie Moore led the way, posting five kills, and sophomore defensive specialist Abby Legaspi served 10 consecutive points, and winning each one.
In the second set, the Lady Rams prevented Aragon from gaining too much momentum, staying within seven points of Aragon at all times. Once again, the Lady Dons fell behind early, this time by a score of 4-3. The first 21 points of the match were back-and-forth, with no team winning more than three consecutive points until Legaspi took over as the server with a 15-12 lead, and didn’t lose a point until her team had a comfortable 20-13 cushion, enough to propel them to the set victory.
The final set featured a late scare from the Rams. The Lady Dons held a comfortable lead for most of the set, but just as they could sense a victory on the horizon with a 22-14 lead, Willow Glen won four straight points, two of which came from kills from senior outside hitter Melissa Izquierdo, to bring the Lady Rams within five points. However, the Lady Dons won the next three points to close out the win 25-17.
With the CCS playoffs being a single-elimination tournament, a loss could’ve ended the seniors’ careers in red and black, but the girls didn’t let this distract them from the task at hand.
Explains senior defensive specialist Quinn Holland, “We tried to not let knowing that this could potentially be our last game affect how we play. We always want to come out here and just give it our all.”
Although it appeared to be an easy win for Aragon, the game presented a rare challenge to the Lady Dons. “We didn’t know this team at all,” says junior defensive specialist Kayla Danao, “so we just wanted to come out and play as hard as we can.”
With their win over the Lady Rams, the team has placed themselves in the rare position to advance to the second round. Explains Moore, “We’ve never been past the second round in my four years I’ve been here… I’m just hoping to get a win.”
After the win, the girls took on Branham (21-8 overall, 14-0 BVAL) on Saturday, winning 3-1 (16-25, 25-11, 25-19, 25-15). They will play against Presentation High in the semifinals on Wednesday.