Girls' volleyball triumphs over crosstown rival gunn

The Palo Alto High School girls’ varsity volleyball team (6-0) defeated Henry M. Gunn High (2-4) in a league game on Thursday in three straight sets (25-13, 25-22, 30-28).

The Vikings are undefeated so far in league and felt strong going into the game.

“We played really well on Saturday, so I was hoping to build on that, keep trying to find the best version of us and what we can be," volleyball coach Chris Crader said.

Gunn, on the other hand, is a newcomer to the upper league and, according to Paly sophomore Amelia Vugrincic, has improved since last year. Although Paly has beaten Gunn in previous years, the Vikings were going in with a strong but not overtly confident attitude.

“It’s our rival game, so we were really pumped to play them," Vugrincic said, "In the past years we had been better than them, but ... we never want to underestimate a team."

The Vikings played strong offensively through lots of assists by senior libero Rebekah Limb and several attacks by both senior middle blocker Amelia Gibbs and outside hitter Thea Enache leading to a first set win of 25-13.

Junior outside hitter Sophia Krugler and senior middle blocker Grace Thayer put a great block against the Titans spike in the first set.

The Titans increased the intensity, trying to grasp the second and third set to catch up. Several spikes by the Titans setback the Vikings lead, but they were able to make up for it with several kills and blocks from Vugrincic and sets and assists by sophomore setter Hillary Cheung.

“I think at times it may have not been the most impressive, but when it counted we really came together as a team and finished,”—Vugrincic
Cheung sets for Thayer during the third set. "Everybody played really well together and we had more energy at the third set," Cheung said. "It was just the best we played in awhile."

Although Gunn put up a great fight, especially in the third set, they were unable to match Paly's teamwork and intensity.

According to Crader, the Vikings will need to keep the momentum going to win the rest of the league.

“I think we took a couple steps backwards today, but definitely some good steps forward too," Crader said. "Just trying to be more consistent and get us all ready for the second half of league.”