Written by Anish Malla and Shelby Cherkas
The girls volleyball team (9-5 Peninsula Athletic League, 18-16 overall) was defeated by Carlmont (12-2 PAL, 27-4 overall) for the second time this season in four sets on Oct. 26. As it was the team’s last home game of the season, this match was the senior game.
The night started off with a recognition of all the seniors, including those from Carlmont. Then Aragon’s seniors, team captain and middle blocker Lille Tuivailala and defensive specialists Kayla Danao, Andrea Ramirez and Ashlee Daguio were all greeted by their teammates and family members for a special ceremony of recognition.
“I think because it was senior night and everything, everyone was just so much more energetic,” said junior outside hitter Samantha Wen. “It being senior night boosted our energy so much.”
After the team gave flowers to all the seniors and took photos, it was game time.
The Dons had strong hits and blocks, with a total of ten kills in the first set. But, Carlmont came out stronger and won the first set with two aces and 11 kills.
“They have really good hitters and I think it was partially our fault for hitting at them,” Wen said. “They know how to place their hits.”
As the second set started, the Dons began to make small mistakes. Aragon missed two serves and only scored five kills in the second set. The Scots took advantage of the Dons’ errors, as Carlmont outside hitter senior Maya McClellan went on a serving run, scoring seven points for her team. The Scots were able to score a total of eight kills in the second set and ultimately took the set, beating Aragon with a score of 25-15.
“The first and second set we were kind of down and we weren’t playing smart,” Wen said.
After a rough first two sets, the Dons started to pick up their game and won the third set.
“[Between] the second and third set I feel like the crowd pumped us up more,” Daguio said. “That helped us out a lot.”
The set started off slow for the Dons, but after Aragon took a timeout at when they were down 20-17, junior defensive specialist Abbygail Legaspi hit three aces in a row. The Dons played aggressively and set up a strong block against the Scots’ hitters, eventually tying the score up to 22-22.
“I just knew how much the team wanted it,” Legaspi said. “I knew that I should push and that I should show the team how much I can provide and help them out, because we all… wanted to help each other.”
Carlmont’s play in the third set was not as polished as it was in the first two. The Scots missed five serves in the third set, and had seven kills – their least amount of kills per set in the match. Aragon, on the other hand, managed eight kills and four aces, helping narrowly win the set 25-23.
The energy increased in the fourth set. The Dons had great blocks by Campbell and sophomore outside hitter Lydia Manu. After Aragon called a timeout when Carlmont was in the lead, Legaspi went on another serving run of five successful serves, which put Aragon in the lead 18-16.
“I think my team really stepped up in the third and fourth sets, that’s when they really brought the firepower and turned up the heat for Carlmont. They played great,” said freshman right side hitter Ella Sears, whose ankle injury in warm-ups left her sidelined for Thursday’s game.
After another timeout by Carlmont at 16-16, Carlmont came back with strong hits but missed six serves. However, Carlmont’s hitting propelled them to the win. The Scots had 11 kills in the fourth set, leading them to their third set victory 25-21, giving them enough to walk away with the win.
Coming off the loss, Legaspi sees room for improvement.
“We’re like a rollercoaster we need to learn how to start off strong from the very beginning,” Legaspi said. “We should keep pushing that’s our weakest thing, we start off slow.”
Despites the loss, this Thursday’s match was a solid finish for the Dons in their league season. The Dons plan to work on their consistency and energy as they prepare to face off against Westmont High School (11-14 overall) in their first game of the Central Coast Section playoffs on Nov. 1.