Girls’ Volleyball Remains Hopeful Following Defeat against Beckman High


Annie Qiao

Junior and co-captain Faith DeNeve sets up a play for senior and middle blocker Arielle Hightower; the team has been focusing on setting up a kill through the middle during practices, but such plays require a nearly perfect pass and set, according to head coach Heidi Martasian.

Annie Qiao and Charlotte Cao

“Sideout!” A chorus of teammates cheer from the sidelines. With the shrill pierce of the referee’s whistle and the resounding thump from the serve, twelve players on the court dive into action. Girls’ volleyball (5-7) lost 1-3 against Beckman High in the team’s first Pacific Coast League game of the season on Sept. 12 in the gym. 

The Bulldogs encountered trouble on the defensive side, particularly in the first two sets, losing 10-25 and 15-25, respectively. This was in part due to Beckman High’s starting outside hitter and senior Haley Schroeder, who is already committed to University of California, Santa Barbara for volleyball. 

“So League is our debut; it’s our entrance into our conference and how we’re going to play,” setter, co-captain and junior Faith DeNeve said. “It’s the way you start, and you want to start well.  Unfortunately, even though we didn’t play our best tonight, we did show that we can fight back, especially when we won that third set.” 

The players began the third set by taking the first three points, and this momentum continued throughout the set as the Patriots trailed behind. While the two teams were tied 19-19 at one point, a combination of hitting errors from Beckman High and spikes from players such as middle blocker and sophomore Semiramis Tanasescu pushed the team to victory 25-19.

“This is the first league match of the season, and Beckman’s really tough,” sophomore and outside hitter Kylie Jordan said. “I think we really gave it to them, even though they are a really good school, so I think we’re going to do pretty good this season. I have high hopes as long as we keep fighting and keep up our energy.”

While the fourth set ended 12-25, players like senior and middle blocker Arielle Hightower were able to shut some spikes from Beckman High, a promising testament to the practice that the team has been putting in to improve their blocking, according to head coach Heidi Martasian. 

In addition to Hightower, kills from DeNeve, Jordan, junior Naomi Luper and senior Lexi Teats were able to earn the team additional points throughout the game. 

“It’s always great to play really good opponents, and Beckman is a really skilled team,” Martasian said. “They’re a really big team, they’ve got a lot of tall players in the front row, and so it’s good for us to be challenged more, especially recognizing that we do need to cover when our hitters are hitting because we’ve got a big block up there. Teams like Beckman teach us that, ‘No, we need to be on the ball all the time.’”