Girls’ volleyball blocks Viking attack


Photo by Seyun Park

The team and crowd celebrates their win. They will next face second-seed Churchill HS (13-1).

The girls’ volleyball team routed the Whitman Vikings 3-0 on Thu Nov. 3, advancing to the region quarterfinals in the postseason playoffs.

The Wildcats went on a five-match win streak towards the end of their regular season, notching wins against Quince Orchard, Whitman, Seneca Valley, Clarksburg and Paint Branch High School before rounding out the regular season with a 1-3 loss to Sherwood HS.

In the postseason, the Wildcats play in the MPSSAA 4A West Region I tournament, which features six area teams. With their 9-5 season record, the Wildcats started as the third seed. Although Richard Montgomery HS had the same season record as the Wildcats, the Wildcats’ win over Rockets earlier in the season gave the Wildcats the higher seed in the tournament.

Senior and captain Wendy Liu returns a Whitman serve. Despite going down 2-8 in the first set, Wildcats recovered to take the set 25-20. (Photo by Seyun Park)

The Vikings entered the game as the sixth seed with a 4-10 season record and had lost to the Wildcats earlier in the season 3-1 on Oct. 13.

“I thought that we did a great job serving and we kept the other team off balance which is always very helpful,” head coach Jackie Krampf said.

During the first set, the Vikings started strong with a 8-2 lead before the Wildcats recovered, led by the serve of junior Aryana Lausten, to even out the score 10-9 and eventually take the set 25-20.

“We had some kids step up. […] Our middle (Ariel Mazor) stepped up, played a great game, really a breakthrough for her today,” Krampf added.

“I think the first set went really well, a lot of kills, a lot of aces,” Mazor said.

The Wildcats took the next two sets 25-14 and 25-21. For senior and team captain Wendy Liu, the victory had more emotional meaning.

“It’s a great feeling beating Whitman first round of playoffs, after we lost to them my freshman year,” Liu said.

The team huddles together pre-game. The Wildcats beat Whitman Vikings 3-1 on Friday. (Photo by Seyun Park)

After a similar 9-5 run in the 2020-21 school year, the Wildcats lost in the first round of playoffs to Whitman, 1-3.
The Wildcats next face the second seeded Churchill Bulldogs (13-1) away on Monday Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. The Bulldogs defeated the Wildcats earlier this season 3-0 on Oct. 6 and received a bye into the second round of the tournament.

“They’re tough, we saw them earlier this season and they have a really fast, quick offense so we’re gonna need to work really hard on defense, put up stronger blocks and cover the court a little bit better,” Krampf said.