Fans took their seats on the bleachers of the Cabrillo Middle School gym on Nov. 3 to witness the girls’ varsity volleyball team’s last league match of the season. The Dragons won 3-0 with individual set scores of 25-20, 25-8 and 25-5. The team will be advancing on to CIF.
The last game of the season is typically a night to celebrate seniors and their accomplishments on the team. But since there are no seniors on the team, players decided to thank their coaches, Vanessa Olmos, Clint Ellison and Chip Tarleton, by giving them flowers.
The match began and the first point of the game was scored by their competitor, Thacher High School. Sophomore and varsity player Morgan Gallagher scored Foothill’s first point of the match.
Coach Chip Tarleton felt that it was an emotional match and the team “started out not like themselves.”
“We started off very rough. I think a lot of times when we have these end of the year matches, if it’s a senior night everybody is really emotional and I think a lot of us were caught up in that,” Tarleton said.
Although the team got off to a “rough start,” he felt that the team “weathered the storm” and eventually “settled down and played their game.”
Athletic Director Emily Stevens thought that the team played “great” and got better each set.
She believes that the team has had an “incredible season” and has made “such an improvement” since last year.
“[As] the season has gone on they have gotten better and better and work better as a team,” Stevens said.
Sophomore and varsity player Faith Mackie feels that the team has improved “so much” since last season.
“We were scared and timid and we made a lot of errors. And then today we were aggressive, hit the ball in, and hard,” Mackie said.
Mackie also thought that the team has learned a lot and has “made a giant improvement” from their last game to now.
“First game we had jitters and nervousness [and tonight we] stayed strong,” Mackie said.
Tarleton feels that the team has taught him how to have patience and be caring.
“Patience. Patience. More than anything, patience. But they’ve also taught me caring too,” Tarleton said. “But these kids care and they’ve taught me that, okay, if you’re patient with them they will start to care about what they’re doing.”
Tarleton hopes that the team takes the “experience of being able to train the way they’ve trained” away from this season and can apply it in matches and years to come.
“I think they are starting to understand. They are starting to believe in what we’re trying to teach them and they are starting to execute it and it’s showing up,” Tarleton said.
Stevens and Tarleton both agreed that the team will prepare for CIF and “keep doing what they are doing” by practicing just like they have practiced the whole season.
“You don’t want to change things right before playoffs. You just want to get stronger at what [the team has] been doing, ” Stevens said.
Mackie believes that the team will be prepared for CIF and give it their all.
“It’s so close, so I know we will all put our hearts into it and win,” she said.
Featured Photo Credit: Claire Dinkler/The Foothill Dragon Press