On Friday, September 11th, the SMC Volleyball team beat CSU at a home game
By: Eden Llodrá
Back on the Saint Mary’s courts, the spirit was alive in the stands and the players radiated their excitement. The game started out with an ace by Elena Baka, number fifteen. It is a great start to the set, as the Gaels caught the lead early on. With a block from number nineteen, Chandler Cowell, it put the score at 8 to 3, with the Gaels ahead.
Baka later faked a kill and tipped the ball over, landing in center court, making CSU fall to their knees with the score 13 to 5. Number eighteen for CSU had a strong and fast topspin serve, but SMC knew how to return it everytime. Gaels swept CSU in the first set 25 to 15 like it was nothing. Their excitement to be back and doing what they love lit up the court.
At the start of the second set, the Gaels easily got ahead 9 to 3. Number twenty one, “Boo” Laird hit the ball straight down the middle and CSU couldn't even get a dig on it. The crowd went crazy, with the score 10 to 4, feeling like it wasn’t even a close game.
That being said, seemingly out of nowhere CSU seemed to get their formation and strategy back. Gaels held control of the set, but it was SMC at 18 and CSU at 15. The opponent started to make a comeback and SMC had to stand their ground. Things started to get intense right after the CSU libero served and it was a point for SMC, as she was out of position.
The Gaels started to slightly lose their focus, as CSU began to wake up. CSU spiked the ball down tying up the set 21 to 21. With a few mistakes on the SMC side of the court, a timeout was called and CSU was ahead 23 to 21. As the game continued, it was hard for SMC to close the set and CSU tipped the ball in, winning 25 to 23. They had each won one set.
In the third set, SMC started out strong again, but didn’t gain a drastic lead. Number sixteen, libero Kelsey Knudsen served it in and CSU returned it. Baka then hit it to the right and it was a tip off a CSU player and went out. The game tied up 9 to 9.
Within the third set, the competition and the tension in the stands grew. Number twenty-two, Alosina Thompson, set it to “Boo” Laird who tipped it over. CSU then dove to get it back, but Kelsey Knudsen set it to setter Thompson and number five, Kristen Erland, who hit the ball down. Gaels got ahead 20 to 17. It became a very close game and everyone felt the weight and importance of the set.
SMC and CSU took turns tying up the game. Before CSU’s set point, the score being 25 to 24, SMC called a timeout. After that, the Gaels made a comeback and number five, Kristen Erland smacked the ball down to the right for a win of 27 to 25.
In the fourth set it was not as close and SMC gained the lead like they did in the first set. With Gaels ahead 16 to 8, winning was just in sight. CSU’s number eighteen served the ball, and SMC’s number twenty-one, Boo, tipped it to the left side of the court. SMC was in the lead by ten points, 20 to 10. With only two points left for SMC to close up the game, CSU called a timeout.
Nevertheless, there was no chance of CSU catching up. The SMC Gaels proudly won the last set, 25 to 13. The cheers from the crowd were overjoyed, not only did SMC win at home, but it showcased that they were back better than ever, and ready for the season to start.
Melanie Moyer '22,