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The Paly Voice

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Vikings volleyball boys outplayed by Saratoga Falcons

Viking freshman outside hitter Tiam Maurstad hits a ball over Falcon senior right-side hitter Scotty Rich and freshman middle blocker Anson Hulme. The Palo Alto High School Vikings lost to the Saratoga High School Falcons, 0-3, Friday night at Saratoga. According to Viking senior assistant coach Reine Schultz, the Vikings performance will improve after injured players return. “Once we have our full team back, I do believe we will become unstoppable,” Schultz said. (Photo: Joy Tan)

In a tough game full of missed serves and miscommunication, the Palo Alto High School varsity boys’ volleyball team (0-3) fell short to the Falcons (2-1), 0-3, Friday night at Saratoga High School.

According to Viking head coach Darryl Chan, with the Vikings still missing players due to injuries, bringing up athletes from junior varsity was the only option.

“We are missing our two best hitters and our two best all-around players,” Chan said. “We are down to our fourth or fifth best setter so we brought up [freshman setter] Mathis Lynn from JV.”

Chan said with the shortage of players, many of the players who usually did not start were there to step in.

“I really want to get them [players who don’t normally start] valuable experience,” Chan said. “When we get back to full health, hopefully in about two weeks, having everyone get experience will help us become a deeper team—a team that goes beyond individual talent.”

The first set started with Vikings taking the lead 5-2 after multiple powerful hits from Viking junior outside hitter Giacomo Resmini. Both teams struggled with serves and hits out of bounds, unable to gain a lead. However, the Falcons seized momentum at 15-15 with consecutive aces, leading to the Vikings falling behind and losing the first set 25-23.

According to Falcon senior outside hitter Eric Norris, the Falcons’ serves led them to win the first set.

“[We] came out missing seven serves in the first set, so cleaning that up was a huge factor in winning that game,” Norris said.

In the second set, the Falcons took the lead with a series of great offensive attacks. However, the Vikings caught up with senior setter Max Yeh serving multiple aces in a row, bringing the score to 18-14. After a long rally with solid defense and offense from both teams, a block out by the Falcons brought the score to 20-20. With the set close to the end, both teams fought for the points, making impressive saves and putting up high blocks. However, after a series of mistakes from the Vikings, the Falcons took the second set 26-24.

In the third set, the Falcons started aggressive with several good hits and blocks. After a rocky start, Viking senior middle blocker Cal Currier hit between a block, stopping the Falcon’s momentum. However, after a series of powerful serves from the Falcons and miscommunication from the Vikings, the Falcon’s lead was extended to 16-6. With great offense from the Falcons and a struggling Viking defense, a setter and hitter misconnection ended the set 25-14.

According to Viking senior outside hitter Hahn Ng, the setter-hitter misconnections are something they need to improve on.

“Our team just needs more reps in and out of the system[balls that are not perfect for the setter] especially because we have a lot of new setters,” Hahn said. “We also need to build some setter-hitter connection, but it’s tough because we lost all our setters and this is [freshman] Mathis [Lynn’s] first time playing in a varsity game.”

Chan said serving was an important decider in winning and losing.

“We missed a lot of first serves, so the goal is to string together three to four service points in a row and start catching up or pushing the lead up,” Chan said.

According to Viking senior assistant coach Reine Schultz, the Vikings played a great game despite the loss.

“This game we played really well, especially during these first two sets when we were playing point-to-point with the other team,” Schultz said. “I know we can continue playing like that throughout the season, if not better, especially due to the injuries we are suffering from right now.”

The Vikings are set to play the Los Gatos Wildcats (3-0) at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday at Los Gatos High School.

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About the Contributor
Joy Tan
Joy Tan, Sports Editor, Multimedia Editor
Joy Tan (class of 2026) joined The Voice in her sophomore year and enjoys playing volleyball and taking photos.

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