Girls volleyball takes win against Hawthorne Cougars

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The girls volleyball team gathers for a huddle before the game against Hawthorne. Head Coach Kofi Yankey joined them later on, giving the team their final set of instructions before the whistle. Photo by: Ryo Miyake

Ryo Miyake staff writer

The girls volleyball team came out with a 3-0 victory against the Hawthorne Cougars, which marked their first league win of the season. They were able to close out their opponents with a 3-set win, the first set ending 25-14, the second 25-11 and the final 25-12. 

The game was quick, especially during the first set, as outside hitter and captain senior Hannah Khorrami aimed multiple powerful spikes toward Hawthorne. While they tried defending, the Cougars were no match for Khorrami’s strikes as she and her teammates secured the first set for the Normans. 

The second set was no different, as the Normans pulled off multiple successful serves and spikes. However, instead of spiking the ball toward the left side of the opponent’s court like in the first set, the Normans, especially Khorrami, started attacking toward the opposite side of the Cougar’s court. This decision proved to be a winning strategy as Hawthorne failed to defend any of Khorrami’s strikes. The Normans didn’t stop there and attacked with more spikes, securing the set with a score of 25-11. 

While the Normans were able to win their first two sets mainly because of their spikes, it was their serves that ultimately won them their final set and the game. Back row passer sophomore Maya Nejathaim had six successful serves of the 12 that the Cougars failed to defend. The Normans cruised past their opponents, winning the final set with a score of 25-12.

“The teams were maybe not the best match, but our team played well regardless,” Khorrami said. “Our serving was really good and we were really good at correcting ourselves after making mistakes. For example, if during one play the ball dropped because no one went for it, in the following plays, people would be more aggressive with going for the ball. Overall, I’m really happy with how we all played and happy to have won our first league game.” 

Khorrami’s teammate back row passer sophomore Mia Fienberg also had similar feelings about the game by stating that the Normans “played really well” and that they “are definitely improving”. 

Head Coach Kofi Yankee was also pleased with the win, which currently puts them at second place in the Ocean League behind the Santa Monica Vikings

“The things that we’re doing in practice are finally paying off. Our passing has been a lot more consistent compared to before,” Yankee said.

Assistant Coach Michaela Witter also stressed the importance of consistency as she believes that “if the girls do what they do in practices in games,” the Normans would see themselves winning more games. 

Although he stated that the team’s practices contributed to their win, Yankee believes the girls’ personalities also helped them secure their victory.

“The girls were having fun and they were themselves, which was scary, but that is what would win us games,” Yankee said.

Next, the Normans will go up against the Inglewood Sentinels at an away game on Sept. 21.

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