Girls’ volleyball hopes to uphold success from last year

September 11, 2019 — by Harshini Velchamy

Head coach: Steve Chiou

2018-2019 season record: 14-18

2018-2019 season recap: The Falcons finished 5th out of 7 teams, qualified for Division 3 CCS.

Key Additions: freshman Lisa Fung

Key Matchups: Cupertino High School, Lynbrook High School 

Star players: seniors Francesca Whiting, Gurneet Jandu, Risa Carter, Lauren Hansen

Key Losses: Katie Hulme, Rachel Bakke, Audrey Adams

League: Santa Clara El Camino League Division 3

Prognosis: 

Last season, the volleyball team qualified for CCS DIII,  falling to the El Camino Wildcats in the first round. 

Despite the loss of key hitters such as Katie Hulme, Rachel Bakke and Audrey Adams, the team is trying to replicate last year’s success by playing more strategically.

According to senior captain and libero Lauren Hansen, the team this year is much smaller, both in height and size, compared to the rest of the league. In order to overcome this disadvantage, the team has begun to focus more on their technical skills.

The team this year has 12 players compared to the 13 from last year, the majority of whom are seniors, and also faces the issue of the lack of middles after graduation.

 Freshman Lisa Fung, who has been playing volleyball for only two years, is stepping up and shouldering the weighty responsibility by taking over the role of middle, which was formerly Adams’s position before she graduated.

Though her experience is far less than most of the hitters Saratoga is facing, the team sees a lot of potential in Fung to achieve greatness.

“[Fung] is always supportive on the court and is always giving it her all. And since we started practice, she’s improved so much, it’s crazy,” Hansen said. “She’s just a really positive person to play with.”

As of right now, the players are trying to get used to this new playing style but are confident in their team and its members. One of the other senior captains, Risa Carter, thinks that the team has a good chance of making it to CCS this year.

“We have a lot of bones in our team like we have a lot of seniors, so we’re really bonded together and know each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” said Carter.

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