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Eagles sweep Vikings in boys’ volleyball

Andrew Zhao
Eagle senior outside hitter Aidan Cuppett hits a deadly serve in the first set between the Vikings and the Los Altos High School Eagles. The Vikings were unable to defend against the Eagles’ outside hitters leading to a 3-0 defeat. According to Cuppett, his offense as well as the communication between the Eagles helped them pull off this victory. “I think my attacking was pretty good, but also just like communicating with some of the teammates on like, what they need to do is pretty good,” Cuppett said.

In a tight match with small point differences throughout each set, the Palo Alto High School Vikings boys’ volleyball team (5-13) lost 3-0 against the Los Altos High School Eagles (13-7) last Wednesday night at Los Altos High School.

According to Viking head coach Darryl Chan, the teams’ top players have just returned from their injuries.

“Our best players, Julian Hong and Arun Tamura, have been out for three or four weeks and they’re just rolling back in,” Chan said. “So [we are just] trying to get them back into the team.”

Junior libero and outside hitter Hong said his injury had an effect on his performance both during and leading up to the game.

“I haven’t been able to practice that much for the last three weeks,” Hong said. “This is my second full day. And then I also bursted a blood vessel in my eye, so I was not able to practice this week.”

The first set began with back-and-forth action from both teams. The Vikings jumped out to a 7-3 lead, defending against the Eagles’ attacks and executing offensive plays. However, Eagles’ senior outside hitter Aidan Cuppett scored on four serves consecutively.

This tied the game and set the tone for the rest of the set. The Vikings were able to tie the game at 22-22, although but the Eagles scored three points in a row defending the Viking’s serves and won the first set 25-22.

The second set was full of ties and lead changes. At one point in the middle of the set, the Vikings and Eagles traded points eight times.The Eagles dominated the latter half of the second set Eagles continuously went back to Cuppett, as the vikings’ defense was overcome. Led by Cuppett’s strong performance, they won again, 25-18.

Chan said Cuppett caused a lot of trouble for the Viking defense.

“Los Altos has number six [Cuppett] who’s a Division 1 player,” Chan said. “We tried block screening him and defending him but he’s a pretty incredible hitter. You can change something and [but]he’s so good that he’ll see what you’re doing and adjust his hit.”

The Vikings began the third set with higher energy, leading 3-1 to start the set. However, the Vikings lost this early lead and never recovered it. After securing another point through serve, the Eagles led 17-11. The Vikings made it close at the end, but never truly threatened the Eagles in the final set. The Eagles swept the Vikings in three sets, winning the final set 25-19.

According to Cuppett, the Eagles played great defense tonight.

“I think we played pretty good defense for our team,” Cuppett said. “We don’t [always] play a lot of defense. It was good to see that we got out there and got some stops.”

Eagle coach Peter Kim said their team focused on limiting their mistakes.

“We just want to have a very clean game because, our offense is running well,” Kim said. “We have a good pass, good set and good kill. It’s not going to happen all the time. Eighty percent of the game is going to be all over the place.”

According to Chan, the Vikings’ bad start to the season is going to help them in the long run.

“I appreciate the adversity that [this season] has given us because if everyone’s winning, you can hide a lot of culture issues,” Chan said. “But when you’re losing, you put a lot of pressure on your team and you can see the team encouraging each other, especially the freshmen.”

The Vikings (5-14) remain winless in seven league games and will play another league game against the Fremont Firebirds (10-8), trying to pick up their first league victory 6:45 p.m. April 10 at Palo Alto High School.

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About the Contributors
Kevin O'Brien
Kevin O'Brien, Sports Editor
Kevin O'Brien (Class of 2026) joined The Paly Voice in his sophomore year. Outside of journalism, he enjoys playing basketball and football.
Andrew Zhao
Andrew Zhao, Culture Editor
Andrew Zhao (Class of 2026) joined The Voice in his sophomore year and enjoys playing tennis and water polo.

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