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The Paw Print

The Paw Print

Volleyball on track for CIF greatness


The varsity girls volleyball team has had a very successful season, with a near-perfect Prep League record, the title of league champions and a promising start to their CIF run. They tore through their league opponents with just one league loss to Mayfield Senior, leaving them with a league record of 11-1 and overall record of 27-6. Now in the CIF playoffs, the team is on its way to following up their impressive CIF semi-final finish of last season.

Beyond the team’s physical skills, head coach Katrina Damasco-Dicipulo attributes the team’s success to their cohesiveness and spirit. “The team’s commitment to each other and to this team is a huge part of this season’s success. They not only like each other, they’re all close friends with each other, which makes playing hard and playing well for each other that much easier and more natural,” she said.

Senior Irina Alsoufiev, the team’s libero, agrees. She cites the team’s dedication and teamwork as their keys to success: “I think we’ve truly grown as a team. We are able to work together, and can accomplish things no matter who the six players are on the court. We are adaptable, hardworking, and each and every member on the team puts in 100%.”

Their motivation paid off: the team won the majority of their league games within three sets, only reaching five sets twice, once against Flintridge Prep and once against Westridge. “I think this year has truly proven that this Poly volleyball team has skill and that we can overcome the mental challenges that come along with playing such a competitive team sport,” said Alsoufiev.

“The team right now is pretty solid,” added junior Katie Sam, a defensive specialist on the team. “We started the season with the tournament in Hawaii, which kicked us off early to a competitive mindset and carried over throughout the season. Everyone’s really invested in winning and dedicated to the sport.”

Damasco also noted the benefits of the team’s four day preseason tournament in Honolulu. The team won five of their seven games at the Lancer Invitational Volleyball Tournament, but, according to Damasco, the more important win was the way it brought the team together: “For me, the highlight of this season came early on during our tournament in Hawaii when we played Moanalua, one of the top schools in Hawaii. The team showed heart, drive and a high level of competitiveness early in the season, which set the tone for the rest of the season.”

Poly went into their first CIF game against Santa Barbara High School with high hopes. On Thursday, Oct. 19, the Panthers dominated the Dons, winning in a neat three set sweep, the first 25-23, the second 25-19 and the third 25-10. For their second CIF game the Panthers faced South Torrance High School on Oct. 21. The Panthers went back and forth in sets against the Spartans, 11-25, 25-28, 25-25, 18-25, 13-15, and unfortunately fell short of a win.

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Katie Walsh, Staff Writer
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