11 US Volleyball MG 3011The fall athletics season kicked off on Wednesday, September 5, with the varsity volleyball team’s opener against Woodside Priory School. Screams from the enthusiastic and vocal cheering section could be heard even down in the courtyard as the Mavericks defeated the Panthers 3–1.

The Mavericks won the first two sets 25–19 and 25–22, but fell in the third set 25–14, despite sustained and fierce back-and-forth play. The team regrouped and pulled together to win the match 25–17 in the fourth set.

Led by new head coach Janelle Burnett, a former collegiate volleyball player who previously worked with the MS volleyball team, the US volleyball program hopes to build off a successful last season, when the Mavericks finished the regular season with a 11–3 record. The team placed as the runner-up in the Private School Athletic League and qualified for the Central Coast Section Division V Playoffs — not only for the first time in program history, but also the first year of playoff eligibility.

“The goal is to be back in a position to vie for a league championship,” said Amrit Chima, Director of Athletics & Physical Education, who described the 2016 season as “impressive.”

This season, the biggest change to the volleyball program is the formation of a new JV squad, which is expected to create a strong foundation for moving forward, both in growing the program and developing less experienced players that are newer to the game.

“With the addition of the JV team, we’re starting to see a more robust program develop, which we’re excited about,” Amrit said.

Preseason began in mid-August, with five new players joining the varsity roster, which will have seniors on the team for the first time. Amrit said, “We’ve got a really experienced group of freshman players coming in, who we know will contribute right away.”  A senior celebration game is scheduled for October 24, and the team is looking forward to sending the seniors out on a good note.

This season promises to be an exciting one for the volleyball team. The Mavericks will compete in the Westmore Spike of Thrones tournament this weekend. The next home game, against Kehillah Jewish High School, takes place September 14.



 September 8, 2017



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