Girls’ Volleyball Still Hopeful After a Disappointing Senior Night

All photos submitted by junior Ethan Chen.

After an extremely successful season, Malden Girls Volleyball hosted the Medford Mustangs for Senior Night in their last home game of the year. They entered the game second in the Greater Boston League (GBL) at 9-3 and 12-3 overall, behind undefeated Revere, and just ahead of the 8-3 Medford Mustangs.

Spectators filled the stands to watch two of the GBL’s top teams square off in what was sure to be a hard-fought battle. Malden’s Junior Varsity and freshman teams were able to convincingly take down the Mustangs before the Varsity team began play.

Before the game, Malden’s Head Coach Daniel Jurkowski introduced the seniors as well as their families and friends. The seniors this year are Jadelini Mora, Vivienne Crawford, Yuki Yang, Victoria Loreus, Anna Yak, and captains Rachel Lin & Kelly Le.

In the first set, Malden got off to a very slow start. They struggled to keep up with Medford’s pace and made plenty of mistakes, which allowed the Mustangs to jump out to a 10-4 lead. Eventually, the Malden girls calmed down and stopped the Medford lead from growing at 20-14. While they were able to match the pace at the end of the set, the rough start proved to be too much and Medford took the first set 25-18.

The beginning of the second set was very competitive. Both teams were playing very well and were even at an 8 point draw. Then, Malden started to slip once again. Medford’s blocks combined with a few misplays on the Golden Tornado’s side led to a 13-8 deficit and a Malden timeout. Jurkowski made a great call there as the girls roared back to a 16-15 lead. Both teams were aware of how important taking this set was and were playing very aggressively. They continued to battle until they evened out at 20-20. With 5 points left in the set, neither team was slowing down. Malden looked favorable to hold on after taking a 23-22 lead with the serve in their hands. Unfortunately for the Golden Tornados, the next serve was low into the net and the Mustangs would take the next two points to hang on 25-23.

The Malden girls would have to take three sets in a row to take a victory on their biggest night of the season. They quickly took two points to open the third set of the night but then struggled their way to a 9-4 deficit. After Jurkowski called another timeout, a few strong serves from Junior Alina Dao tied the set 10-10. Once one of her serves hit the net, it felt as if the team’s hopes did the same. The girls began to struggle and make simple mistakes and found themselves down 19-12. Medford continued to dominate and came up with a strong kill to end the game at 25-15, taking the Malden girls down 3-0 for the first time this season.

The loss somewhat deflated the mood of the gym, but everyone was still proud of the seniors’ accomplishments throughout the season. Aforementioned senior Mora was one of the many: “It has been, by far, my favorite season in high school,” she noted. “I have just loved it so much. I love how everyone is committed and kind to each other and I love the environment.”

Senior Jadelini Mora prepares to serve.

Mora also spoke about how emotional it was playing in front of the senior’s families. “It’s an honor. My freshman self would be so proud of how far I have come,” she illustrated. “Playing in front of them is a great tradition that gets passed down from team to team and I really like that.”

Her teammate Le was disappointed about the outcome of the game. “I feel like I could have done better,” she explained. “I think I was just nervous.” However, she mentioned how great it was to play in front of everyone. “Playing in front of my family is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I only get one senior night.”

Senior captain Kelly Le moves to receives a bump.

Both Mora and Le were thankful for their younger teammates. “I love them like family,” Mora exclaimed. “They’ve always been there for me at my highest and lowest and I can’t thank them enough.” Le added to her comments, saying “I hope they take our actions as a lesson and behave next year.”

Junior Keira Lin also spoke out about her view on Senior Night. “I look up to these girls as role models and leaders. I hope to play like them during my senior season.” She also mentioned the feelings of watching the seniors with their families and gift bags: “I shed a few tears. It made me really emotional.”

Senior players with their families posing for their senior night photos.
From left to right, top to bottom: Jadelini Mora; Kelly Le; Yuki Yang; Rachel Lin; Vivienne Crawford; Victoria Loreus; Anna Yak.

While the seniors may not have had their best game on this special night, there was a great pride to be felt, being honored by their coaches, teammates, and fans. The team already has locked up a spot in the state tournament and look to close out the season with a few road victories. This optimistic team is ready to take on whatever challenges they might face during the rest of this year.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By :