Varsity volleyball wins a hard-fought victory over the Bearcats


Briana McDonald

Scots cheer after winning the point in a long rally against the San Mateo Bearcats.

Sophie Lynd, Highlander Editor-in-Chief

Despite the San Mateo Bearcats’ valiant effort against the Scots, aggressive offense and tough serves proved the Scots worthy of their 12th win of the season.

During the first game, both teams played fairly conservatively – sending free-balls over the net and tipping more often than killing – resulting in a close score of 26-24 Scots.

Much of the first game was played at the net with back and forth tipping and blocking on both sides. During longer rallies, both teams showcased their defensive readiness and offensive aggressiveness, each taking a significant amount of points from winning these rallies.

Although the Scots managed to win this set at the end, they began with a rocky start. After a few missed serves and hits, Varsity Head Volleyball Coach Chris Crader called a timeout when the Scots were down 7-2.

“Some things that lacked in tonight’s game and especially the first set were our energy and passion. Some of the girls were off tonight, but thanks to other players on the team we were able to pull out the win,” Crader said.

The Scots were able to keep their momentum from the first game going into the second, winning this set by a larger margin, 25-14.

Consistent assists by setter Sophie Srivastava, a senior, to hitters sophomore Alisha Mitha and sophomore Morgan McClellan, kept the Scots a few points ahead of their competition throughout the second set. The glue holding these plays together was steady passing from the team’s libero, Annika Nambiar, a junior.

“I thought that Alisha and Morgan really stepped up with their hitting and played a great game tonight,” said Crader.

On the other side of the net, the Bearcats began to lose their momentum, giving the Scots points through missed serves and net violations. The Bearcats also had trouble with defense against Carlmont’s powerful kills making it hard for them to set up aggressive offensive plays.

Despite the Scots’ synchronization and fluidity in the second game, they were unable to win the third due to a vigorous fight put up by the Bearcats. Intelligent plays and a series of successful blocks gave San Mateo a much-needed boost after two tough loses, allowing them to win the third set 25-19.

“I was glad that we were able to level up our playing and take the win.”

— Chris Crader

Between games, the Scots helped to bring back their momentum by reminding each other they have what it takes to win.

“We just needed to calm down, take a breath, and do what we do best,” Nambiar said.

San Mateo started the fourth game with a series of aces. However, the Scots were eventually able to return one of these serves and tie the game at 4-4, eventually winning the set 25-19.

A series of kills from Maya McClellan, a senior, assisted by Srivastava forced San Mateo to call a timeout. Unfortunately for the Bearcats, this timeout was unable to keep the Scots from winning the set and thus the entire match.

“I had never seen this team before, but I definitely didn’t expect them to play this well,” Crader said, “They did an excellent job and their coaches did an excellent job.”

The Scots’ next match is against Woodside on Thursday, Sept. 21.

Defensive Specialist Katie Wong, a junior, said, “We are a very strong team this year so we have the tendency to get cocky. Going in today and every upcoming game we have to think that this is the hardest team we play. This mindset will hopefully help us to work harder.”