Down one set from the Groton School, Varsity Volleyball drew energy from a home crowd sporting school colors and face paint to fuel their comeback and snag their first win of the season on Homecoming weekend.
After losing the first set 27–25 in overtime, the knights began to take back the match in set two, with Captain and Outside Hitter Lauren Yun ’19 securing a spike that closed out the set at 25–18. The team got stronger as the game progressed and won the third set 25–13. By the opening of set four, everyone in the stands was hooting and hollering for the players to take home the victory, with Pierce Haley ’19 leading the effort and getting help from Adon Goodpaster ’20, Gracie Paul, and Aaron Chisholm (both ’19).
The team felt the energy from the fans—at 20 people or so, about double their usual draw—as a huge benefit, Right Side Hitter Ella Wolff ’21 said.
“Cheering helps a lot because it motivates you to work harder when you get hyped up,” she said.
Dana Yesson ’21, a Boys’ Junior Varsity Soccer player who came to the match after his own away game earlier that day, noted the positive support backing the players.
“It was a really energetic atmosphere,” he said.
After each point the school scored during set four, applause erupted. Coaches from both schools watched attentively on the sidelines as the game came down to the last point that the knights needed to secure the win, and the crowd hushed in a state of suspense. Jordyn Britton ’21 smashed a hit and Katie Gould ’21 performed a diving save, ushering in a 25–21 victory and leading to Groton’s defeat.
“It was awesome to see the team come back,” Lauren said. “We really just came together, and our offense, especially our hitting and tipping, was a lot stronger.”
Lauren added that she was really proud of the team, mainly comprised of younger, less experienced players. Two of the group’s seven starters, for example—Madera Lipson and Kaixin Yan (both ’23)—are eighth graders.
Katie Gould ’21, who began playing for the team last year, said the win felt meaningful.
“I was definitely nervous at first, but after the second [set] win, everyone got really confident,” she said.
Coach Jorge Senabre said he hopes the homecoming experience will help the team launch into a successful season.
“Everything worked as all of us in the program had hoped: great team effort, resilience, good volleyball, better decisions. Of course, being in front of a supporting crowd added to it,” he said, “but the players’ effort is vital.”
The girls have many more away games and only three more matches at home this season. Come cheer for them at 4 p.m. on October 26 and 29 against Concord Academy and Winsor, respectively, and on November 2 against Thayer.