Volleyball looks to rebound

Casey Nguyen , Managing Editor

With a new school comes new challenges, as well as new captains for the girls varsity volleyball team. This year’s team is led by seniors Danica Tran and Zain Ghul. Their current starters Zain Ghul, Cerys Jones, Megan Johnson, Giselle Morales, Guinevieve Tran, and Madison Dixon.

The Atoms volleyball season is just beginning and the Varsity team has already played two scrimmages and three games. After falling to the Falls Church Jaguars on Aug. 9 in their first scrimmage and getting defeated by the W.T. Woodson Cavaliers. Despite their efforts, they also fell to Washington-Lee, Lake Braddock and W.T. Woodson once more. For all three past games, the girls lost 3-0.

The past scrimmages and games did not go as plan for the team. A main factor that led to their defeat was their lack of communication throughout the game, in addition to their lack of movement.

“We weren’t moving to the ball and we weren’t talking,” said senior Efrata Tecle.

At the home game against the Lake Braddock Bruins on Aug. 28, the girls understand that they did not do well on their first set. Noticing that something needs to be done, the girls strived to improve for their second set. Astonishingly, this occured. Recognizing their mistakes in the first set, the girls made improvements in the second. By the third set, the Atoms finally started playing like a real team: one with plenty of communication and cooperation.

“We were not adjusting to the serves,” Tecle said. “In the third set, we all started to cover for each other, like pick up balls others weren’t getting.”
At the match that took place at W.T. Woodson High School against the cavaliers on Aug. 30, the Atoms lost all the three sets. In the first set, the Atoms lost 25-10. In the second, they also lost, but by 25-7. In the final set, they lost 25-4.

The team’s communication, once again, seemed like a factor of their loss. “I think we can improve on communication,” said senior Tiya Ayele. “A lot of the points we lose could be solved by just letting are teammates know things they can’t see.”

Despite their poor performance in this aspect, there were also other aspects that they performed well in.

“We hit really well,” senior Zain Ghul said “Our serving was much better than it normally is.”

The girls are never disheartened by the score on the board, because they know that each game is a lesson of improvement for the next. The girls like to showcase a positive outlook throughout all their games, doing loud cheers before the game begins and after each point is made.

With a record of 0-3, the girls remain optimistic about the rest of the season. They know that a lot can be improved before their next game with South Lakes on Sept. 6. The team knows what areas they need to work on for their upcoming game and they are striving to improve in them.

This dedication to improve and hone their skills showcases their hard work and dedication towards volleyball. This same dedication and teamwork is also evident during their very spirited and fun games.

“We can definitely work on our passing and our serving. We need to serve tougher ball,” said Ghul.

The team also has clear goals to achieve for the season: to work as a team.

“Our goals this season is to work together and talk more and also to win more games than last season,” sophomore Laila Lopez said.

The next volleyball game will be against South Lakes at 7:15 p.m. on Sept. 6. The following game is against Falls Church at Cassel’s Sportsplex in Herndon at 10:15 a.m. on Sept. 8.