The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


Girls Volleyball wins 3-1 over Kennedy Titans on Senior Night

By Staff Writers Waylon Li & Jason Tang

On October 18, MSJ Girls Volleyball played their Senior Night home game against the Kennedy High School Titans. The Warriors lost the first set, but with teamwork and determination, swept the Titans in three consecutive sets. In an intense, grueling comeback, the Warriors displayed their impressive setting, digging, blocking, and spiking skills, finishing off their Senior Night with a well-deserved victory. The Warriors secured the game, ending off the season with a 7-7 MVAL record.

The match kicked off with Middle Blocker Senior Nessa Tong stuffing a spike attempt from the Titans, giving the team a positive start. However, the Titans’ fought back, their strong spikes and excellent defensive blocks paired with the Warriors’ unforced errors led to the team trailing 7-21. An impressive spike by Co-Captain Setter and Opposite Hitter Sophomore Melissa Jin and a close rally won the Warriors two points, but the Titans closed out the set 25-9.  

The Warriors started off the second set strong, with numerous well-placed and powerful serves by Co-Captain Setter Senior Julie Wu. With intense rallies full of sets, tips, blocks, and cheers from teammates, the Warriors prevailed from their first set loss to take a 21-7 lead in the second set. The Titans’ tried varying their ball placement and spikes, but were unable to overcome the Warriors’ efficient communication. The Warriors took the second set 25-10, tying the score at one set apiece.

The third set was much more competitive with both teams trying to take the lead in the match. The Warriors and the Titans traded points back and forth until the score hit 11-10. An impressive save by Co-Captain Libero Sophomore Allie Tong set the pace for the rest of the set, with the Warriors maintaining a consistent lead. With a mishit sending the ball out of bounds by the Titans, the Warriors secured the set 25-17, leading the match for the first time

In the fourth set, the Warriors and Titans played another nail-biter, the Warriors only leading 14-13 at the halfway point. However, the Titans were unable to stifle the momentum of the Warriors’ two consecutive wins. With a final spike by Outside Hitter Freshman Claribel Chen, the Warriors secured the set with a score of 25-17, soundly beating the Titans 3-1. 

The Warriors’ talent and skill proved to be a major factor in their win, but their team’s chemistry played just as big a role.  “These girls have a lot of fun with each other. They’re really supportive of each other,” Girls Volleyball Coach Thien Nguyen said. The Warriors were able to secure a memorable win for Senior Night, a game traditionally celebrated to honor the senior players’ home game of the season. “[The Seniors are] able to lead the underclassmen [and] pass on the knowledge and culture,” Nguyen said. 

The Warriors ended the season with a tough 0-3 loss to the undefeated American High School Eagles, but are ranked third in MVALs and set to play Foothill High School in the first round of the NCS Championships on October 25. The team continues to improve, regardless of their league rank. With many underclassmen on the varsity roster, the team has a lot of potential to grow. “Things have come full circle, from watching Senior Night in eighth grade, to being one of the Seniors. MSJ Volleyball has changed so much in four years, but I think the team is in good hands,“ Co-Captain Setter Senior Julie Wu said.

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