Girls’ volleyball to play first season game against crosstown rival

Amy Leung, Author

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The Palo Alto High School girls' volleyball team discusses season plans before practice. Photo by Amy Leung.

The Palo Alto High School girls’ volleyball team discusses season plans before one of their first practices of the season in the Paly gym. Photo by Amy Leung.

The Palo Alto High School girls’ volleyball team (10-3, 0-0) will play its crosstown rival Gunn High School (5-3, 0-0) in its first league game tomorrow at Gunn.

“The first [league] match is always exciting,” sophomore setter Jessica Lee said. “Playing Gunn is always a fun game because of the team rivalry.”

Senior captain and outside hitter Jade Schoenberger agreed with Lee.

“I’m always excited for Gunn because both teams want to win so bad, mainly for bragging rights,” Schoenberger said.

Even so, Schoenberger says that she holds no strict expectations for the outcome.

“I can’t predict how we’re going to do,” Schoenberger said. “If we play our game, we’ll be fine and hopefully pull out a win.”

Lee expresses concern after junior middle blocker Claire Dennis badly sprained her ankle during last Monday’s practice.

“Not having Claire Dennis will be a little more difficult because she’s our tallest player and main blocker,” Lee said. “We are definitely going to miss her on the court, but we aren’t going to let that affect our playing.”

So far, the team has only lost to Sacred Heart Prep, Pleasant Grove and Acalanes in both the Deer Valley and Harbor tournaments on Sept. 13 and Sept. 20, respectively.

Across town, Gunn senior captain and setter Nicole Brigham expressed their concerns about strong Paly players.

“We are looking out for Jade [Schoenberger] — she is one of their strongest hitters,” Brigham said. “So we are going to put a good block up on her.”

Even though key players Keri Gee, Lauren Kerr, Sarah Limb and Becca Raffel all graduated last year, Schonenberger still has high hopes for an exciting season.

“The loss of last year’s seniors was a bummer — they were all so talented,” Schonenberger said. “But some younger players on the team have really stepped up this year, so I’m confident we will have a fun season, win or lose.”

Watch the game at 6:45 p.m. tomorrow at Gunn or read The Paly Voice’s live blog.