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Girls volleyball falls to Rocklin in first round of CIF

Photo by Tyler Wong

After finishing undefeated in league play (12-0) and earning a 27-6 overall record, the girls varsity volleyball team lost 3-1 to Rocklin High School in the first round of California Interscholastic Federation State Division 1. The CIF defeat was preceded by a 3-0 loss to Archbishop Mitty High School in the Open Division of the Central Coast Section playoffs.

Coach Chris Crader said the team had an incredible season despite the final two losses.

“The team (ended) with a 27-4 record in the regular season, which was the most wins in 11 years at Paly,” Crader said. “And, we’ve had a lot of outstanding teams during that time. Going 12-0 in the league, a feat not often achieved as teams rarely go undefeated in our league, was an amazing accomplishment by this group.”

Junior setter Sophie Mies said the team’s major strength was the offense.

“We had really strong hitters in the middle, and we have really strong outsides and right sides,” Mies said. “It’s good for me because they make me look good.”

In addition to its offensive strategy, Crader said this team was well-rounded and matched up nicely against other teams.

“We weren’t amazing defensively, but we were a pretty good defensive team,” Crader said. “We were definitely a good blocking team, and I thought we were a very strong serving team.”

Crader also said senior leadership played a big part in the team’s success.

“(Seniors) Kylie Yen and Reine Schultz were fantastic leaders,” Crader said. “I think it starts with the seniors.”

Mies also said the team’s tight-knit bond helped win games throughout the season.

“The girls were connected really well, and we really love each other,” Mies said. “That definitely contributed to this season being the best Paly volleyball season I’ve been a part of.”

Looking ahead, Crader said he thinks Paly volleyball has returned to a high level of competition.

“This group has gotten us back to a place where if we’re not in the open division, we’re going to compete to be a CCS champion every year,” Crader said. “We’re going to compete and hopefully advance in CIF play every year.”

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