Season Recap: Volleyball falls to San Benito in CCS playoffs

    The Palo Alto High School girls' volleyball team celebrates after Senior middle blocker Claire Krugler gets a block against Mountain View High School. Photo by Victor Carlsson.

    The Palo Alto High School girls’ volleyball team celebrates after senior middle blocker Claire Krugler gets a block against Mountain View High School. Photo by Victor Carlsson.

    Palo Alto High School girls’ volleyball team (24-13, 7-5) is looking forward to next season after its loss to San Benito High School (30-7, 11-1) in the second round of the Central Coast Section playoffs.

    The Vikings’ effort was led by sophomore outside hitter Chelsea Fan who earned 12 kills in the loss to San Benito and junior setter Jessica Lee who had 51 assists.

    “It was a good game,” Lee said. “A few points here and there was the difference between us winning and us losing. It was a tough loss for us because it ended our season, and for the seniors it was their last high school game, and for a couple it was their last volleyball game ever.”

    This was the final match for seniors Claire Krugler, Clara Chiu, Claire Dennis, and Gabby Bains.

    “The loss against San Benito was very disappointing,” Dennis said. “We knew it was going to be a challenging team, and we hung in there through the fifth set but being so close to winning and going on to playoffs and falling short is extremely frustrating regardless. I had an amazing experience at Paly competing in sports.”

    Overall, first year head coach Jekara Wilson led the team to a successful record of 24-13, an improvement from last year’s record of 19-12.

    “I am pleased with the outcome of the season,” Jekara said, “At the end of the day, I would have loved to have beaten San Benito in the CCS quarterfinals since we were so close, but even though we fell short of the win, I am so proud of the girls efforts. ”

    The Vikings will build off of several returning players, including sophomore Chelsea Fan, junior Jessica Lee and Fiona Green, who believe that next season they can make it all the way to the state tournament.

    “I think since the majority of the team will be returning to play together next year, we will be a much stronger team as a whole,” Green said. “We will be much better at working together since we have played together before.”

    With a strong returning lineup and more experience at the coaching position, the team has high expectations for next season.

    “Our goals for next season will be to come first in league, to come in either first or second in CCS, and possibly even further,” Green said.