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North Volleyball against Rancho Verde

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On Oct. 23 John W. North High School’s girls volleyball team played the Lady Mustangs from Rancho Verde High School for the second time in their Inland Valley League closer. It was also the “Pink-out” and senior night game. North won the matchup with the Lady Mustangs 3-1 which put them in third place in the Inland Valley League. Since they are in the top three, the girls will advance and claim the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) title.

The first time North went up against Rancho Verde the Huskies defeated them in a sweep with the score of 3-0. North’s performance changed from the first matchup to the second.

“Some of our struggles were anticipating [the ball.] We are getting better at strengthening our mental ability and all we can do is condition to [be] faster and get to the ball. Our strengths were communication and trust. We communicated more and encouraged each other to keep going [strong],” says sophomore Bailey Smith.

After the closing of the Inland Valley League, all of the girls were focused on the postseason.  They are all hoping to see great things coming from this year’s team.

“I expect us to go far in the postseason. As long as we play our game and play as a team, our future is bright [but] obviously a CIF ring would be nice. Going further than any other North volleyball team in postseason would be the next best thing,” says senior MaKayla Le’au.

Since the season is coming to an end for girls volleyball, they were able to reflect on the good and the bad of all their past games.

“I am proud of how the league games went. Some of the games weren’t in our favor but I believe that we fought for what we wanted and we learned many things along the way,” says Smith.

In the matchup, North lost the opening set but was able to recover from it and take the next three sets, which led to a victory in North’s favor. North’s team all agree that the team is coming back together after a few lineup changes along with the arrival of junior Chloe Strassenburg, an outside hitter who helped contribute to the win over Rancho Verde.

Smith and junior Brooklyn Sanchez initiated clean, ace serves throughout the game, which led to an excessive number of dropped balls by Rancho Verde. North can agree that the match’s intensity definitely increased after the first set due to the support shown by their supporters in the bleachers.

After celebrating their admittance into the postseason, the girls headed back to work to improve and make tweaks to their offense as well as defense to prepare for the playoffs.

“Our coaches have been pushing us to be more than good, to be great. And my team has been hustling and putting in 110 percent into every practice to prepare for our game days,” says sophomore Tanya Tupe.

Since this year’s team includes several seniors, they are feeling many different emotions as the regular season reaches a close.

“I’m driven to give every game and even practice my all. It hasn’t fully hit me yet but I’m starting to realize that the place that has been my second home and where I hold most of my memories at this school is soon coming to an end. So I am trying to give 110 percent on the court without any hesitation or regrets,” says senior Raquelle Gastelum.

North’s girls volleyball team has big expectations for this year’s postseason and expects to leave everything they have on the court.

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North Volleyball against Rancho Verde