Girls volleyball: MVHS loses in three sets to a strong Homestead High School squad

Ellie+Cary+kills+the+ball+to+win+a+point+for+MVHS.+Although+MVHS+played+hard%2C+they+would+lose+the+game+against+HHS+in+three+straight+sets.

Ellie Cary kills the ball to win a point for MVHS. Although MVHS played hard, they would lose the game against HHS in three straight sets.

Joshua Tsuei

The MVHS girls volleyball team played Homestead High School in their second to last home game of the season on Oct. 30. Ranked second in their league, HHS was the clear favorite going into the game. Although the Matadors played hard, it wasn’t enough to challenge HHS’ leads, and MVHS lost in three straight sets to drop to a league record of 0-10.

The Matadors scored the first point of the game from sophomore Amanda Hua gave MVHS a small lead early on in the first set. However, the Matadors couldn’t keep up the intensity and, when Homestead tied the game at 13, lost the only lead that they would hold for the rest of the game. MVHS scored only two more points in the set as Homestead went on a huge 11-2 run to close out the set.

Ellie Cary kills the ball to win a point for MVHS. Although MVHS played hard, they would lose the game against HHS in three straight sets.
Ellie Cary kills the ball to win a point for MVHS. Although MVHS played hard, they would lose the game against HHS in three straight sets.

“We had a good start, but we let them go on a run,” Head Coach Anderson said. “They are the number two team in the league, and they showed it today.”

Homestead continued to show their strength as they went on a 12-4 run to start the second set — on a 23-6 run across the first two sets. The Matadors had some obvious communication problems, dropping a lot of easy balls and double-hitting others.

“We were in each other’s way,” Anderson said. “We were bumping into each other and taking each other’s balls, mistakes that we shouldn’t be making.”

But even with these issues, MVHS managed to go on a small run with the help of Hua’s strong serves. The Matadors were able to close the lead to as little as three points before Homestead, once again, pulled away to close out the second set 25-17.

The third set played out much like the first two. HHS went on a big run midway through the set and built up a lead that, at one point, stretched to 13 points.

Co-captains junior Sydney Howard and senior Hannah Pollek knew the game against HHS would be tough and were actually satisfied with how the team played.

“Everyone was hustling today.” Howard said. “We were neck-and-neck with them for a long part of the game but just let them go on big runs.”

While Howard acknowledges that the team still has some consistency problems, she believes that the fact that they had some close moments against HHS shows their ability to compete in their league. More than anything, Howard and Pollek believe that the team has improved a lot.

“Compared to last time we played [Homestead], we did a lot better,” Pollek said, “but we obviously still have some issues.”

Pollek attributes a large part of the problem to the team’s weak mental fortitude.

“Once we start making mistakes, we get in our own heads,” Pollek said. “The entire team starts to feel more pressure, and we let our opponents go on a run.”

This has been a problem for the Matadors throughout their entire season, but the girls are still optimistic about their improvements and the future of the team. The entire team is prepared to tackle the team’s issue and show a strong performance in their last game of the regular season.

“We have great individual players, but volleyball is a team sport at the end of the day,” Anderson said. “We will focus on the things we did right, and try to learn from our mistakes.”

The next home game is on Nov. 6 against Mountain View High School at 6:45 pm.