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The Paly Voice

The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

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Hampered by injuries, boys’ volleyball crushed by Firebirds

Senior and team captain Cal Currier and junior outside hitter Aditya Romfh reach up to block Firebird junior hitter Eli Geddes. The Palo Alto High School Vikings were swept by the Fremont Firebirds, 0-3, Wednesday night at home. According to senior setter Lorenzo Lisi, the Vikings strengthened their team bonds through this game and will be able to apply their newfound knowledge to future practices and games. “Our team really banded together throughout this very difficult game,” Lisi said. “We’re gonna be able to have productive practices after this game to really improve on our hits when they’re off of the net. I can work on my sets, making sure that I can get them in the right spot even if I’m in an awkward location on the court.” (Photo: Evan Chien)

In their first league match of the season, the Palo Alto High School varsity boys’ volleyball team (0-1) was dominated by the Fremont Firebirds (1-0), 0-3, Wednesday night at home.

According to senior and team captain Cal Currier, the Vikings lacked numerous crucial starters due to injuries, causing a rough game.

“We normally have 16 players, but today, we have nine, as we have a lot of injuries,” Currier said. “A lot of our starting lineup is gone, so we were running rotations that we wouldn’t normally be running. Normally we would have two centers, but today we only have one, which makes it a lot harder to run our offense. There are just a bit more disconnects … and that led to mistakes that made us less scrappy than we should have been.” 

Currier said the Vikings mainly focused on not getting injured this game so they can be primed for future matches.

“Our main goal today was to not injure ourselves, especially Lorenzo Lisi, our setter today,” Currier said. “Normally we have four, today we had one, so we just didn’t want to get him injured or we would be screwed. We also wanted to be careful with any of our real hitters …  because there’s really no way to replace them.” 

The Vikings fell behind early in the first set, with the Firebirds taking an early lead of 10-8 after a series of strong blocks and some bad calls from the Vikings that messed up their positioning. The Vikings gained most of their points through the Firebirds’ own missed serves and struggled to dig outside spikes. After multiple failed tips and spikes into the net, the Vikings fell behind further, allowing the Firebirds a dominant first set win, 25-21. 

The second set began much closer than the first, with the Vikings staying at most two points behind the Firebirds. The Firebirds then sped ahead thanks to Viking incoordination between setters and hitters. The Vikings let their guard down further, allowing the Firebirds to obtain a series of kills, shooting them eight points ahead, which ended the set in their favor, 25-17.

The Vikings took early control of the third set, with Fremont taking a similar position to the Vikings in the first set. The Vikings stayed strong, consistently keeping the Firebirds at a two-point deficit. However, Viking errors and creative plays from the Firebirds allowed them to get back ahead, 24-19. Paly called two timeouts to recenter, but the solid Firebird offense ended the game in their favor, 25-20.

Head coach Darryl Chan said that despite the loss, the Vikings maintained their culture of understanding and learning from mistakes, and the new players adapted well to filling in for the injured players.

“Everyone’s shouting and encouraging each other and letting people know that if they make a mistake, it’s okay,” Chan said. “We have a really scrappy defense, so people are diving on the ground covering. Now that people have stepped into different roles, they have shown me what other pieces I have in future games.”

According to Firebird head coach Russell Davis, the Vikings have strong individual talent but should work on their team synergy.

“They have a lot of individual talent,” Davis said. “In a number of plays, like when one person is flying off the court to get a ball but the second person isn’t going with them, they need to be more cohesive together. If they can get together as a team, they will play much better.”

Chan said the injured players should be returning soon, and the next few games serve as opportunities for younger players to shine.

“We’re gonna have [junior] Julian [Hong], as he’s coming back on Friday,” Chan said. “[Junior] Arun [Tamura], one of our best players, was injured last week, and he should be coming back in about a week and a half. So, there are opportunities for all these younger players to step up and play, and I’m looking forward to just developing them and giving them some game time.”

The Vikings will face the Wilcox Chargers (0-1) at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday at Wilcox High School.

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About the Contributors
Nathan Jiang
Nathan Jiang, Editor-in-Chief, Webmaster
Nathan Jiang (Class of 2025) joined The Voice in his sophomore year and enjoys playing tennis, learning and loves meeting new people!
Evan Chien
Evan Chien, Senior Staff Writer
Evan Chien (Class of 2025) joined The Voice his sophomore year and enjoys reading, swimming, hanging out with friends and gaming in his free time.

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