Varsity volleyball sets up a hopeful new season


Mona Murhamer

Junior Maya McClellan drops low to pass a down ball to her teammate.

Mona Murhamer, Staff Writer

The smell of wood polish fills the gym.

New volleyball shoes squeak against the court.

Tightened nets split the inside of the Stogner Gym into two halves, while full ball carts line the walls.

A newly-inflated volleyball floats over the net toward the back row.

Junior setter Sophie Srivastava dives to the ball and sends it flying in a perfect arch to coach Chris Crader at the net.

It’s the beginning of a new volleyball season and Carlmont’s girls varsity team seems to be hitting the ground running.

“A lot of really great players graduated last year but we have a lot of new talent this year. The seniors are stepping up and the new players are creating a good mix,” said Crader.

Joining the team this year is freshmen Morgan McClellan and Alisha Mitha.

“Playing on varsity is different than playing on a club team. My teammates on varsity are a lot older and they have different styles of play than my club team. Everyone has been really nice and welcoming. We all get along well,” said McClellan.

McClellan and Mitha stood out during summer open gyms and Crader decided to move them up to the varsity team.

“[McClellan and Mitha] have played at high levels on their club teams and are very hard working players. They’re doing a great job playing on varsity and have been a big contribution to the team already,” said Crader.

Srivastava has high hopes for this season, knowing there’s always room for improvement.

“I’m excited because we all play well together and get along with each other. We’re only going up from here and if we can improve on starting games out stronger and staying consistent throughout the whole match, we’ll have a great season,” said Srivastava.

In comparison, 2015 saw the varsity team advance into CCS finals for the first time in 10 years.

Last year’s season also included the first victory against Menlo-Atherton since 2008 and senior middle blocker Roz Soheili hopes to make the win a regular thing.

Soheili said, “For my last season, I’d really like to beat Menlo-Atherton again and win CCS altogether. If we don’t lose sight of that goal, I think we can definitely accomplish it.”