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Experience leads to an undefeated season

Allieyah Wilson serves the ball to the other team.

Allieyah Wilson serves the ball to the other team.

Allieyah Wilson serves the ball to the other team.

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Tension fills the air, almost tangible. Students screaming. Shoes squeaking. The gym lights shining, highlighting the glistening foreheads of sweat. Bang! Shouts of cheer fill the air.

This is typical for the ending of every girls varsity volleyball game.

Morse girls varsity volleyball of 2017-2018, an experienced team with a new coach, remains undefeated in Division five league due to their determination and new found motivations to win.

The team is made up of girls who have been with the program for at least two or more years. They are being led by the captains, Allieyah Wilson, Joanne Pany, Nyaduoth Gatkuoth, and Judi Pangelinan.

“The chemistry is strong, so we work better together,” expressed Abbey Garcia, junior and varsity player.

The girls have been training harder than previous years. In conditioning, the new coach, Michael Sahagun, has been pushing the girls to their limits so they reach their full potential. The girls are also doing more repetitions of drills, more reruns of plays, and more hours of practice.

“For conditioning, I feel like we run just as much as the track team or cross country,” explained Gatkuoth.

This year, the girls were dropped into Division five, coming from Division four. This has changed the mindset of many of the girls, motivating them to strive for more. The girls varsity goal is to be number one in Division five and number two in their league, most likely due to playing fewer games than the number one in their league.

A blue banner with yarn hanging off the sides and bottom is the driving force for the girls. It is the reason they are striving for to win. The banners are hung in the gym and awarded to any team that holds a title of winning CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) championship.

“We spend so much time in the gym, but there is not a single banner up for girls volleyball,” Gatkuoth claimed. “I want that to change,”

New strategies are being put to the test in every game played. The team is paying special attention to the weaknesses of the other teams. Through this, the coaches determine what plays are going to be the most effective in gaining points.

When the team was in Division four, their previous plays and practices were more advanced compared to Division five teams. As the girls know more, they can practice different and complex plays that will ensure a win as long as the other team does not know how to block or return the ball.

Another change made by the coaches is the lineup, who start each game. The coaches are able to see who works best together and can stir up the most points before subbing girls in.
“Each player is allowed to show their potential because the coaches give everyone a chance to play,” Garcia responded.

An essential part of the team are the middles, Gatkuoth and Je Lise “Gigi” Frank. As middles, their jobs are to block the balls, but they do a lot more. They are able to both block and put away the balls to gain points. These girls are the driving forces in how the team are able to gain the points to remain undefeated.

“We want to prove to everyone that we don’t belong in this division,” Garcia said, “everyone has this perception about the volleyball team. We want to prove them wrong, we want to win.”


2 Responses to “Experience leads to an undefeated season”

  1. Ms. Banuelos on October 27th, 2017 9:39 am

    Way to go Lady Tigers! You are showing the community what Morse is capable of. We are very proud of you.


  2. Ms. Star on October 28th, 2017 5:06 am

    Watching you all in action is something else. Great job on the consistency and bringing home the W each time.


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