Varsity volleyball’s long journey comes to an end

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Varsity volleyball’s long journey comes to an end

Carlmont's varsity volleyball team goes to gather their belongings after a loss to Pitman High School.

Carlmont's varsity volleyball team goes to gather their belongings after a loss to Pitman High School.

Elena Mateus

Carlmont's varsity volleyball team goes to gather their belongings after a loss to Pitman High School.

Elena Mateus

Elena Mateus

Carlmont's varsity volleyball team goes to gather their belongings after a loss to Pitman High School.

Elena Mateus, ScotCenter Editor-in-Chief

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It was just another game for the Carlmont varsity volleyball team.

Just with one exception — the end of the season was on the line.

On Nov. 24, the Scots made the three-hour long journey to play Pitman High School of Turlock in the first round of the Northern California Regional Championships. The Carlmont Scots fell to the Pitman Pride in four sets: 25-27, 25-21, 19-25, 20-25.

This loss hit the seniors on the team especially hard. Senior Captain Erin Alonso said, “I can’t believe this is the end, after four years of Carlmont volleyball, it all came down to this.”

The Scots did put up a fight, however, and managed to start the first game with a 6-3 lead. But they battled with the Pride, whose sophomore outside hitter, Whitney Barnes, caused problems. Her powerful kills and strong blocks helped the Panthers steal game one despite a 24-20 lead for the Scots.

Late in game one with a 25-24 Carlmont lead, Barnes blocked senior Alexis Morrow to tie the first game at 25 all. After a hitting error on the Scots, Barnes hammered a ball through the block to find the floor; and with that, Pitman took game one 27-25.

Barnes said, “It was high-energy, and it was intense. They’re a good team, we had to limit our own errors to pull through.”

But the Scots responded. Game two proved to be tight match-up the entire way through. It was thanks to sophomore Maya McClellan’s determination to terminate the ball and Alonso’s relentless pursuit on the back line that the Scots pulled away in the end, winning the second set 25-21.

McClellan said, “This team really cares about each other; I’m able to take huge swings and trust that my defense will have my back if  I get blocked.”

Coming off the second set loss, Pitman Coach Kristen Pontes said, “We needed to focus on our side to help get Carlmont out of system. We had to make adjustments to hit around the block and be more consistent.”

And Pitman’s adjustments paid off. The Pride took control when they had the 21-18 in the third game. Despite back-to-back kills by Morrow early on, it was Barnes whose four consecutive kills helped the Pride in the end to take the set 25-19.

Carlmont’s coach Chris Crader said, “We played really hard; our defense was awesome, and I love that we kept fighting back. We just made a few too many unforced errors.”

The Scots got down early in the fourth set 16-8 but, with kills from Morrow and senior Mia Hogan, were able to fight back to force a score of 16-18. But with 2 service errors and a ball hit long, it was not enough to stop the Pride from taking the final set 20-25.

Crader said, “Because we’re not the biggest team, we’ve always had to be really aggressive with our serving and our hitting; so we’re going to make errors, but against a team that doesn’t make many errors and has four big hitters, it’s hard to hang in there.”

The end of the journey for this game also marks the end of the season-long journey for the team. Senior Alexis Morrow said, “Even though we ended on a loss, we all know this was an incredible season; we exceeded expectations multiple times.” The Scots finished second in league, made the CCS finals, and won two tournaments.

The Scots finished their season with a 27-10 record, and won three trophies to leave behind.

“This is by far the best season any of the seniors have had. It was legendary,” said Alonso.

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