A week in Girls Varsity Volleyball games: Wins and losses

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Max Chasin, Staff Writer

The Girls Varsity Volleyball team played against Portledge School on Monday and Poly Prep Country Day School on Wednesday, winning the first game 3-0 and losing the second game 0-3, Ava Gersten (11) said. 

Gersten enjoyed the game on Monday, which went well, she said. “We’ve gotten really close as a team, and everyone was having a great time regardless of whether we were doing well or not.” 

Girls Varsity Volleyball coach Jason Torres was pleased with the team’s performance against Portledge, he said. The team came off of a tough loss against Riverdale at Homecoming this past Saturday, and Torres was concerned about how the team would respond, he said. “We weren’t able to practice between Saturday and Monday, and we had no time to debrief about the game, but the team members came in with a very positive attitude and won a great game.”

Gabby Chong (12) played a fantastic game on Monday, especially since she always brings an amazing attitude to the court, Gersten said. “Gabby played great — she always brings a positive energy to the court, and she’s always so helpful and encouraging.” 

The team didn’t go into the game on Monday with a strategy, but they were aware that their game against Poly Prep would be a tough one, Torres said. “It’s difficult to plan a strategy against [Poly Prep], especially since we haven’t played them in two years due to COVID.” To prepare for games, Torres watches the team’s game film to understand what they did wrong against a specific team and to see what they can work on to prepare themselves for the next game.

On Wednesday, even though the team tried their best, they lost 0-3, Alexa Turteltaub (11) said. “Poly had one particular player that was incredibly advanced, and their whole team overall was very talented.” Even though the team lost, Maddie Kim (10) played an amazing game in the back row on the team, Turteltaub said. 

“When they walked in, they were visibly taller than us by 4-5 inches at every position,” Torres said. “We did have some very few blocks though, which I credit our team for.” 

Jaelah Taylor (11) played a great game; she had several big spikes and only one or two of her spikes were blocked, Torres said. 

During the team’s practices, they work on skills that were weak during games; the practices are tailored to specific components of the game, Torres said. During practice, the team does lots of drills and tries to mimic game-like situations, Gersten said. “For example, our serving at the beginning of the season was very poor, and since then, after working on serves in practice, we have done much better, and we rarely miss them,” Torres said. 

With the final few weeks of the season ahead, if the team pushes themselves really hard in practice, they will finish the year strong, Gersten said. “We always end up doing better when we’re more energetic, more positive, and supporting one another; it is also important that we work really hard so we can function well as a team, both emotionally and physically.”