Redemption was at stake for the Samo girls’ volleyball team during their 25-19, 25-6, 25-17 CIF first round demolition against Rio Hondo Preparatory School.
Last year the team had an unfortunate loss in the second round of CIF. This year the girls form a revitalized squad that they believe may take them to the CIF championships.
“From the beginning of the season we knew that we needed to work hard in order to do well in playoffs,” Varsity Captain Sarah Krenik said. We all wanted to come back strong this year and redeem ourselves from last year’s loss.”
At first the teams were evenly matched, keeping the Samo crowd rowdy and on their feet. Yet after an undeniably commanding finish in the first, the girls seemed to get into a rhythm that rendered the other team incapable of scoring more than a few points.
In the second set alone junior outside hitter Jordan Levy recorded four kills and Krenik achieved an impressive six.
The girls finished off the match undefeated, thus leaving sending the message that this year they are out for a CIF title.
“This match really showed us what the team can improve on to get to the next level,” freshman setter Blossom Sato said. “I think we have a really good chance of continuing on, but right now it’s really just about our focus.”
Throughout the season, the girls have gradually improved in all areas. After winning league and beating rivals Culver City and Beverly Hills in every league game, the girls see great hope for their CIF run.
Despite making it past the first round, the girls agree that there are still many things that they can improve on. Regardless of their 3-0 victory against Rio Hondo, the girls believe that their performance at times was a little sloppy, and that they still have plenty of room to grow.
“I have never underestimated this team’s resilient attitude and our ability to bounce back with even greater mental focus,” junior opposite hitter Avalon Lennon said. “We have reached our peak, but we still make mistakes and we still learn from them. It’s about trust, when you screw up you can’t just go hide on the sidelines. Get on your teammates to back you up. There are no limits, there are no breaks: we come fired up to win. We make mistakes, we deal with them.”
The girls are confident in their abilities, and are ready to work their hardest to win a title.
“Our mindset as we continue on in CIF is to stay focused and play our game,” Krenik said. “We’ve worked hard and now it’s our time to give it all we got and put everything we have out on the court.”