The M-A girls varsity volleyball team beat Hillsdale in four sets at Hillsdale on Tuesday evening. This victory continues the Bears’ league play winning streak as they hope to repeat last year’s Northern California championship.

The starting lineup for the Bears included veteran senior setter Kirby Knapp, senior middle blocker Eliza Grover, and rookie outside hitter Nicole Kang. In set one, M-A fell behind early and struggled to catch up to the Knights.

Knapp executes a back-set.

Knapp executes a back-set.

Hillsdale missed a serve when the team was winning 9-5, and this gave the Bears an opportunity to pull ahead. Grover took this opportunity, slammed down a nice set from Knapp, and earned her team a point. Eventually, M-A pulled ahead 21-19, but Hillsdale fought back and ended up winning the set 27-25.

Grover gets a kill.

Grover gets a kill.

The Bears came back in the second set with determination and played aggressively to get themselves back in the match. Knapp earned a point off a nice setter dump to make the score 7-6 favoring the Bears, but the Knights kept the score close.

The score went back and forth, senior outside hitter Jacqueline DiSanto and junior Lauren Heller contributing several kills, along with Grover, now hitting from the right side. M-A pulled ahead 15-13 and Hillsdale took a timeout.

Heller goes up to attack.

Heller goes up to attack.

After the timeout, DiSanto got a kill and the Bears widened their lead, eventually winning set two 25-17.

 

Head coach Fletcher Anderson switched up the lineup for set three, running a 6-2 rotation with senior setter Casey Olsen and Kang subbing in and out with Knapp and Grover. This lineup proved effective as M-A kicked off the set with a stuff block by Grover and sophomore middle blocker Alicia Letvin. The Bears dominated from then on and won the third set 25-9.

Kang subs in while M-A runs a 6-2.

Kang subs in while M-A runs a 6-2.

Anderson stuck with the 6-2 rotation for the fourth and final set. M-A pulled ahead early with a powerful kill by Heller when the score was 6-4. The team increased its lead with several kills from DiSanto, Letvin, Grover, and others on a variety of sets, ranging from fast ‘ones’ to quick ‘bic’ sets out of middle back.

Assistant Coach Lauryn Anderson noted, “We did a good job of playing cleaner as the match went on, but didn’t start very well, so that will be a focus in our next match.”

 

The Bears won the match with a final score of 25-19 in set four.

View live tweets of the game on https://twitter.com/TheMAChronicle

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