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The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

MAKING HERSTORY: Girls volleyball team captures Freeway League champion title for first time in 28 years

Setter+junior+Dalilah+Rivero+gives+a+high-five+after+the+girls+volleyball+team%E2%80%99s+dominant+win+over+Troy+High+School+in+straight+sets+25-16%2C+25-15%2C+25-18+at+an+away+match+on+Wednesday%2C+Oct.+11.+The+team+claimed+the+Freeway+League+champions+title+for+the+first+time+since+1995.
Nicole Park
Setter junior Dalilah Rivero gives a high-five after the girls volleyball team’s dominant win over Troy High School in straight sets 25-16, 25-15, 25-18 at an away match on Wednesday, Oct. 11. The team claimed the Freeway League champions title for the first time since 1995.

1995.

That was the last time the Sunny Hills girls volleyball team won a Freeway League championship  — until this week.

After 28 seasons, the Lady Lancers (10-0) clinched the league title after its 25-7, 25-17, 25-8 home win over Buena Park High School (0-10) on Monday, Oct. 9. 

Then for its final spike to end league play, the team finished off rival Troy (3-7) in a 25-16, 25-15 and 25-18 away match on Wednesday, Oct. 11, remaining undefeated at 10-0 — a first for the SH girls volleyball program.

“I feel stoked — stoke level 10,” head coach Amanda Donaldson said after the Troy match. “I feel that these kids have worked hard. 

“It is very difficult to stay that consistent mentally and physically, on and off the court. They’ve done just that, and I’m so proud.”

Captain senior Kayla Taylor said winning the league was an exciting experience for her and her team, as it’s always been something the program was working toward.

“The team has been working really hard during season, and we’ve been putting in a lot of time and effort,” Taylor said. “So, I think we feel really excited and super rewarded for getting recognized for these accomplishments.”

PLAYING THE ROLE OF SPOILERS

The Lady Lancers’ straight-set victory over Troy spoiled the Warriors’ chances to end their season in fourth place during their senior night.

With the Warriors set to serve first, one of their players hit the ball long, giving the Lancers an early one-point lead. Sunny Hills then added to its score with libero senior Andrea Yepez serving an ace on her second service opportunity.

The Lady Lancers get together in a team huddle after they take the first set of the away match against Troy High School 25-16 on Wednesday, Oct. 11.

Eventually, the girls kept a shutout in the first set at 4-0 but suffered a side out to Troy with a kill from the left side.

Nevertheless, the Lady Lancers rebounded by taking the next three points, forcing Troy’s head coach to call the first timeout of the match at 7-1.

Even after the time out, Sunny Hills continued its lead with consistent offense and defense and easily won the first set.

I think we just had to focus mostly on our serving and on our technique because when we get nervous, I feel like our technique gets worse,” said outside hitter sophomore Kayla Thienprasiddhi, who ended the match with 12 kills. “But, I feel like we did a really good job of keeping balls in and letting Troy make the mistakes.”

The second set started like the first with Sunny Hills leading 8-2 early in the set. However, unlike the first set, the Warriors began closing the gap until they were only trailing by two points at 9-7.

I think we got a little bit complacent in the end of the first set of the match and going into the second set,” said Taylor, who said the team felt a little pressure because many teams were eager to beat the undefeated Lady Lancers. “I don’t think the pressure affected the match; I think it was mostly because we got complacent with our game and they started to gain momentum.”

But that was as close as the Lady Lancers allowed, as they established their momentum again, eventually turning their lead into 10 points and closing out the set at 25-15.

The girls volleyball team celebrates a point after a kill by middle blocker senior Noor Francisco in the Troy High School gym Wednesday, Oct. 11.

The final set began with a lead from the Lady Lancers with Troy calling another early time out at 6-1. Because of unforced attacking errors, the lead shrunk to two points again, resulting in a Lady Lancers’ time out at 8-6.

“I think it was mostly [set three] that I remember that there were a few too many points that we let Troy have,” said Donaldson, who said the goal was to win in straight sets. “So with that, getting back to focus, figuring out what’s working [helped us]. So being able to one, stop making serving errors and two, control our side was where we were trying to refocus.”

With the Lancers’ unchanging offense and defense and the Warriors’ weak defense, Sunny Hills quickly continued its consistent lead it had throughout the match and ultimately swept Troy.

The Lady Lancers will now prepare for their first CIF match on Thursday, Oct. 19, with the opponent being determined by 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14.

Our mindset is, every team is beatable including us, and we have to keep working hard,” Taylor said. “[CIF] isn’t league where the teams are scared of us — they’re going to treat us like they can beat us in three [sets] any day. So I think we have a tougher mindset going into CIF.”

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Nicole Park, Copy Editor
After taking the Journalism 1 class, sophomore Nicole Park is elated to spend her first year on staff as one of the copy editors. During her time as a cub reporter, Park earned a Best of SNO award for her story exploring the topic of accessories on students’ backpacks. Park looks forward to covering a wide range of stories to further hone her writing and explore the depths of journalism. When she is not working on a story assignment, Park spends her time playing on the girls volleyball team and is a member of school clubs like American Red Cross. In her free time, she enjoys watching dramas, eating good food and going out with friends.
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