Written by Elinor Aspegren
Varsity volleyball carved a path to CCS this year, wrapping up its season in the first round of CCS after losing to St. Ignatius High School, coach Craig Bankowski said.
According to Bankowski, the team’s spirit and determina- tion played a significant role in its success. “St. Ignatius was a bigger, stronger team, but we didn’t go out there pessimistic,” Bankowski said. Despite the fact that this year was arguably the shortest volleyball team that Gunn has had, they made up for it in ferocity. According to senior Sydney Tam, bonding was the best part of her experience. “We definitely all sup- ported each other through the tough time, [and] cheered for each other through the good times,” Tam said.
The team’s main strategy was defense. Bankowski says the team had one of the strongest defenses in CCS. “We would dig [the ball] up every time they hit it at us,” he said. Sophomore Christina Perez said the strategy was especially important throughout the season. “We had to block more and our defense had to be spot-on, because they had a bigger block and could just hit it straight down,” she said.
According to Bankowski, while the team had its strengths, its players needed to be more consistent. “I would have liked to make plays more dynamic, but we didn’t have players that could jump super high,” he said. For next year, Bankowski hopes to change the girls’ strategy from defensive to offensive. “Hopefully, we will have the height to transfer the strategy,” he said. “I’m really excited because we’re probably going to get the kids that can do that.”
Overall, Perez thinks that the best aspect of the team was its unity. “Without [team spirit], we wouldn’t really be any- where,” she said. Bankowski agreed that this, along with the team’s perseverance, helped to bring the team some wins and make the season well worth it. “The girls worked their butts off every single second of the game,” he said.