Girls’ volleyball team heads toward state title after CIF win

Melanie Villasin, Staff reporter

For the second year in a row, the girls’ varsity volleyball team will head to the state championship this weekend after battling Marymount High School Nov. 10 to win the SoCal Regionals. The state finals game is Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Santiago Canyon College.

Using their momentum from triumphing CIF once again, along with recent wins against Long Beach Poly High School and Redondo Union High School, the team is motivated and ready to compete. Coach Dan O’Dell, coming off of his 200th win with the Monarchs, will lead the top-seeded team and is working to remind the girls that their preparation is crucial in order to be successful for every game.

“I think, hopefully, our takeaway is that we can’t show up without a ton of energy and expect to come out victorious as we continue to go through,” O’Dell said.

O’Dell said that the girls’ routine procedures are what help them stay consistent throughout this competitive stretch of their season.

The team is “preparing as [they] would for any game: practice, film, and strategies.” As every game becomes increasingly difficult, their routine preparation has been consistent throughout their entire season. The girls focus on each game individually and try to not concentrate on future events. 

“Our goal is just to do the best that we can with the rest of our season,” senior and setter/opposite Brielle Mullaly said. “I don’t think there’s any added pressure because we don’t have anything to lose. Every game we play is for each other at this point and winning just means we get to play together one more time.”

The team shares a mutual goal to cherish these last few games they have left and play their hardest every day.

“State is kind of like playing CIF all over again with a couple of better teams…,” O’Dell said. “We’re shooting to try and win a state title, but we understand the challenge in front of us and we just hope we can take it one game at a time and just be better than who we’re playing each night.”

Senior and co-captain Natalie Berty said she is prepared to lead her team during her last season before playing for Stanford University next fall. As far as pressure, Berty feels none as she has played on varsity for all four years, experiencing these rigorous competitions every year. Rather than feeling stressed over each upcoming game, the girls have grown to enjoy every opportunity to play rather than feel increasing pressure.

“Our team is very close and we all have each others’ backs through each game,” Berty said. “We love the sport and enjoy each game, making it more of a gift to play rather than a job.”