September Game of the Month: Girls’ Volleyball’s Unexpected Loss


Annie Qiao

#18 freshman Jenna Chinn prepares to receive the ball.

Ki Joon Lee

JV girls’ volleyball (6-1) lost to El Toro High 1-2 in this year’s first Game of the Month on Sept. 27. Portola students wore tie-dye shirts to the gym after school to watch and cheer on the players.

The Bulldogs lost the first set 19-25 but changed the flow of the game by winning 25-10 in the second set with multiple aces and spikes. However, the team narrowly lost the third set 10-15. The loss was an anomaly of the GOM series as all of its previous games were victories.

“Serving was what allowed us to win the second game, completely taking [El Toro High] outside of their groove,” head coach Heidi Martasian said.

In the bleachers were parents, the marching band and students who came to watch the game. Marching band performed the national anthem and occasionally played their cadences when the Bulldogs scored. Loud percussions echoed across the gym and entertained the audience while supporting the team.

“The audience was really great, very different from the past games that we’ve had,” co-captain and sophomore Lexi Teats said. “It was great seeing so many people come out and watch.”  

Along with the marching band, the athletic commissioners and other ASB members were leading cheers and waving a tie-dye flag to excite the audience. They were stomping, clapping and passionately yelling “side-out” to the players. Other sports teams, including Basketball and Swim, came to watch before their after school practice and wore tie-dye bandanas to support girls’ volleyball.

“[Game of the Month is] a great opportunity for students to cheer on fellow athletes,” boys athletic commissioner and sophomore Mustafa Hassan said. “The atmosphere is really unique: cheering, having fun and seeing our team score.”

Last year, GOMs included interesting themes and activities, such as the beach-day water polo game and the white-out basketball game. Hassan said he looks forward to bringing more people to future GOMs to continue on the tradition of appreciating Portola’s athletes.