Tuesday night, the Bears dominated the Los Gatos Wildcats, winning 3-1 in the Quarter-Finals round of Division 1 Central Coast Section. This win guarantees the Bears will progress to the CCS Semi-Finals, where they will play their last home game against the Carlmont Scots. 

Both teams came out of the gates firing. However, strong serves from senior Becca Schulman and digs from senior Clara Cronin kept the Bears on top. Although the teams were neck and neck in the first half of the first set, smart spikes and dumps by senior Anna Ryan helped the Bears pull ahead to win the first set 25-19, with sophomore Keila King scoring the winning point. 

The Bears took the second set by storm, with junior Aria Sokol and senior Nina Kerr serving well, driving up the score. The Bears were on fire all around, Cronin, who won “Player-Of-The-Match” commented, “lots of people had their best games of the season tonight.” The Bears took the second set by a comfortable score of 25-14.

Bears set to defend spike from Wildcats

Los Gatos came alive in the third set, particularly on defense, making good blocks and serve receives. The Wildcat coach, Brynja Thompson, said, “it was a pleasure to play high-level volleyball.” She also commented, “Menlo-Atherton did a really good job defending what amazing weapons we had.” Indeed, the Bears’ defense was also strong in the third set. Ryan attributed much of the team’s defensive success to Cronin, congratulating her “for getting awesome digs and awesome serve receive.” 

The nail-biter of a third set had the crowd on their feet, with the parents cheering just as loud as the students. Junior Palmer Assunto said “I come to the games because I love M-A sports and loves supporting them.” The crowd seemed to motivate the Bears, because after falling behind 8-17, the team went on an offensive run, tying the set at 25-25. Although Los Gatos ended up winning the set 27-25, this comeback set the tone for the fourth set. 

The Bears were not about to let the Wildcats back in the game however, winning the fourth set by a score of 25-16. With this win, the Bears will progress to the Semi-final round against the Carlmont Scots Thursday evening. This match will be the last home game of the year. Ryan was confident in her team saying they will “fight to the end,” and offering the gentle reminder that “banners aren’t given, they are earned.” Ryan also reminded all the fans to come to show their support Thursday evening.

 

Aidan Wescott is a senior at M-A. He likes to write about community and social dynamics, as well as sports, also enjoying the occasional satirical piece. In his free time, Aidan likes to play guitar, surf, and spend as much time outdoors as possible. Aidan is a member of the Water Polo, Wrestling, and Swim teams, in addition to being a board member for the M-A Donut Club.

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