Onlookers watched with their breaths held as the points stacked up in the final set between Glendale and San Gabriel in the Matador Arena. The crowd screamed with each point scored, and cheers filled the gym for each save. Girls volleyball hit the ground exhausted as Glendale took the victory 3-2, the final set sitting at 14-16 for the Matadors on Aug. 28.
As preseason kicks off, girls volleyball’s home game against the Dynamiters is one of hundreds occurring around the world. Frustration was in the air with penalty points given to each side after rule violations occurred.
“I was frustrated with [myself], not being able to do anything, and not being able to do it right,” junior middle hitter Tiffany Thai said.
The third set was in the school’s favor, having scored 11 consecutive points and setting Glendale on the backfoot. Senior outside hitter Stephanie Nguyen pressured the team with hits, earning roaring approval from the crowd as San Gabriel took the victory 25-11.
“[Hitting] felt like the greatest thing ever,” Nguyen said. “It makes me feel like if I can do it once, I can do it again.”
If San Gabriel won the fourth set, they would win the game. With renewed vigor, Glendale engaged the team in several rallies, eventually triumphing with 25-17. Both sides were now at a tie and tension skyrocketed during the fifth set.
“We lose our momentum after we win because we allowed the other team to have a really big build up,” senior Julie Le said.
In a breathtaking finale that had onlookers on the edge of their seats, the two teams squared off in rally after rally. San Gabriel tirelessly made their way to 14-11, where their next point could be the winning one. Thoughts of victory quickly left their mind as Glendale caught up, pulling ahead by two points and securing the victory.
“Having the points being so close, 14-11, we just kind of went downhill from there,” junior libero Kimberly Yip said. “We got too excited about it.”
In spite of this loss, the varsity team is looking forward to the rest of their games this season, setting high hopes for themselves.