On its opening night, the Peery Family Center was full of green and white shirts and shouts of “sko vikes” as the Palo Alto High School girls’ volleyball team (2-1, 0-0) defeated cross-town rival Gunn High School (0-5, 0-0) last night in three sets.
The Vikings came out strong, holding the Titans to just nine points in the first two sets.
After cruising to quick victories in the first two games, Paly stumbled, going down early in the third set to Gunn.
Paly regained their footing and the Vikings finished strong, closing out the final set and the match with an ace from junior outside hitter and defensive specialist Mallory Kuppe. The finals scores were 25-9, 25-9 and 25-14. According to sophomore middle blocker Mia Gibbs, the team’s comeback demonstrated their focus and resilience.
“When we fell behind in the beginning of the third game we refocused and stopped making as many errors,” Gibbs said. “I was super proud of our team for being able to do that even with all the distractions coming from Gunn’s fans.”
Paly volleyball had three wins in one night, with victories from the freshman and junior varsity teams as well. As the night went on, the bleachers filled with a crowd of excited supporters.
Junior setter Britney Fan noticed the loud encouragement from the stands.
“Since it was my first year on varsity I’ve never experienced such an incredibly supportive student body,” Fan said. “Everyone was yelling and cheering us on point by point.”
According to junior middle blocker Ashlyn Callan, having students cheering in the crowd creates a lot of support for the team.
“I always love the positive energy at Gunn games and this one was especially fun because we finally had a home gym,” Callan said.
The Vikings’ next match will be against St. Ignatius at 6:30 p.m on Sept. 6 in the Peery Family Center.