The Palo Alto High School boys’ volleyball team (6-12, 6-6) will have to wait until next season for another shot at crosstown rivals Gunn High School after falling to the Titans, 0-3, on Friday in a home game.
The match, which was the Vikings’ last home game as well as senior night, was intense throughout and had many fans from both sides cheering loudly.
Although the Vikings lost all three sets, the match was much closer than the results indicated, as Paly lost each set by only a handful of points.
In the first set, the Vikings took an early lead and were up 18-12 at one point; however, the Titans mounted a big comeback and eventually ended up winning the set 25-21.
The Vikings would go on to lose the next two sets 19-25 and 22-25, despite taking another early lead in the crucial third set.
According to junior Raymon Chen, a setter, the Vikings’ performance was still evidence of improvement.
“I would say we definitely played a lot better than we have in our previous matches,” Chen said. “We’re definitely showing some improvement and people [are] doing some big things — people [are] stepping up — it’s pretty good.”
The Vikings struggled to deal with the powerful strikes of opposing senior Rhys Tracy, who is committed to play for the University of California, Santa Barbara, next year.
“He would do this thing where he would switch with the middle hitter, and he would come up [and] hit middle even though he was an outside hitter,” senior middle-blocker Bryce Doughman said. “He was hitting angle shots that were really hard to block.”
Because it was senior night, it was the final home game for many players such as Doughman.
“We still have one more game so it doesn’t really feel like it’s over, but it has been a really fun season with the guys,” Doughman said.
Head coach Ed Yeh was happy with how the players competed and said that the match was a lot tighter than the score suggested.
“I think they played really strong,” Yeh said. “We were right in every game. … It could have gone either way, I think, in all three games, so I was really proud of the boys.”
Overall, the boys’ volleyball team’s inaugural season has gone well, Yeh said.
“It’s been great,” Yeh said. “Imagine the team if we had two or three years with some of these boys, especially with seniors. They’ve shown incredible growth through the whole season, so I really wish I had a couple of these kids for a couple years. We would’ve been fantastic.”
The boys’ volleyball team will face off against Santa Clara High School (3-18, 1-10) on Wednesday, May 2, in its final game of the season.