Eyes Towards the Future: Goals for the Girls Volleyball Team On and Off the Court


Art/Photo by Sidney Hinks

Opposite hitter Abby Witzansky (12) goes in for a hopeful point, but is stopped by Torrance High’s defense. Unfortunately, West High’s Girls’ Varsity Volleyball team fell short once again to Torrance High, after a long, hard-fought battle on Sept. 20, 2022. Despite the difficult loss, West kept their heads up, going on to beat the North High Saxons on Sept. 22, and two days later, held a 3-0 sweep against The Webbs School.

Natalie Ou, Sports Editor

   Athletic games are a constant source of excitement and entertainment for many students across campus, and West High’s Girls’ Volleyball match against Torrance proved to be no exception. Volleyball is a sport that blends both technical and physical skills — from keeping the ball up to spiking past a towering wall of middle blockers, there is no shortage of work and tenacity required to play. During a warm fall afternoon on Sept. 20, Frosh/Soph, JV, and Varsity teams alike braced themselves for a grueling three-set match (upped to five sets for Varsity players) against Torrance in which the best team would come out on top. 

   Both elated and bittersweet feelings would ensue — although the Frosh/Soph team won with a score of 2-1, Torrance emerged victorious against the Varsity team after three hard-fought sets. Feelings on the aftermath of the games were as mixed as the results — Sasha Gabauer (9) of the Frosh/Soph team described feeling slightly let down with the game. Rather than being disappointed in regards to the outcome, Gabauer stated that she felt dismayed at how the team had played during the game: “We definitely play better when we play teams that challenge us, and Torrance just didn’t really do that. We might get into a mindset like ‘Oh, we don’t really have to try because they’re easy,’” she contemplated. 

   While the feeling of winning is what many look forward to in a game, a match isn’t solely based upon victory — the lessons and skills learnt can be just as important. Both victories and losses can inspire new goals to achieve for both teams, and Gabauer hopes that the challenges that emerged during this match will continue to motivate players to learn more about the game. “I hope we can all achieve learning our rotations correctly, because it’s something on the court that’s a big thing. If you get it wrong, it can mess with your head and it can affect your performance,” Gabauer expressed. 

   Dealing with challenges and difficulties on the court isn’t only exclusive to the Frosh/Soph team — even the most seasoned players can run into trouble on the court, according to varsity captain Sheridan Mariko Hagedorn (12). Hagedorn claims that perseverance through conflicts plays a large hand in the outcome of the game, as much as that of the stamina and skill required for a potential five-set game. “I think we did pretty well in the first two sets, but we kind of gave it away in the last set because we weren’t putting in too much effort or giving the same energy as we should have,” explained Hagedorn. 

   As volleyball is a team sport, passionate group effort is of utmost importance when playing. In a sport where players are constantly moving with only a few moments of rest between plays, tiredness and extreme exhaustion are only natural. However, Hagedorn recounted how the team was able to get through difficult sets despite feeling weary: “We just have to tell ourselves that we need to keep pushing, we have to fight throughout the game. So that’s how we were able to try to keep up with them even if we weren’t playing our best.” 

   Although feelings after the match were somewhat despondent for the varsity players, Hagedorn described using their defeat as motivation for the team to improve their skills and form new goals. “After the game I was a little bit disappointed, but that also made me fired up to play better the next game. I think that although we were disappointed with our outcome, I think we’re looking forward more to the future,” she asserted. 

   While this may have been a defeat for the Varsity Girls’ Volleyball team in the short term, the team is determined to keep working hard and face what’s left in store for their season with hope, not resignation. By using their initial loss to drive them through tough times, there is no doubt that the Girls’ Volleyball Team will keep their eyes turned towards the future.