Varsity Volleyball has a close game with Lake Howell


Photo By Allie Nichols

Allie Nichols, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Students took up a significant portion of the stands in a large mass of black shirts for black-out game day. They stood and chatted until loud whoops and hollers could be heard from the doors, and the crowd stopped to look. Six shirtless students with painted stomachs spelling “B-E-A-R-S-!” ran through a tunnel of raised arms. The Lady Bears tossed shirts, beads, and tennis balls to the stands and earned cheers and claps. School spirit is back for volleyball season. Once more, the gym went quiet as the loudspeaker announced senior Elayna Gillis as the singer of the national anthem for the night, then the game.

On the Bear side, players 1, 6, 7, 9, 11, and 12 waited down and ready for Lake Howell to serve, and the first point was ours. As number 11 Kendall Sines prepared to serve, the student section raised its fingers in anticipation with a crescendo of low noise before saying “ooh” as the ball was hit and soared across the net. That’s another point for Winter Springs. The beginning was typical with a couple of warm-up points for each team, but the real game began as the scoreboard read Home: 2, Guest: 6. Parents and students yelled, “Side out,” meaning “get the ball back” to encourage the Bears. 

Soon enough, the ball was ours again, and Lauren Klingenberg, number 6, was serving. The ball bounced back and forth before landing in the middle of the Lake Howell court gaining us a point, so the score was 5-7. The comedies of the student section will never be matched. They shouted for Winter Springs. During the time-out, the Bears had caught up and surpassed the opposing team with a score of 8-7. More points went back and forth, but Lake Howell led more often than not. Unfortunately, later in the game, although we got a kill from Laney Perdue, number 9, the score was 17-19, and we lost the first set after a missed ball with a score of 19-25. 

The second set started with some worry, but the student section still stood dutifully for our Lady Bears and remained that way even after Lake Howell gained the first point. In the end, that point didn’t even matter. Pretty soon, number 6 Klingenberg was serving and after a light tip over the net, the score was 5-1. After a while, it was A’siya Magazine number 7’s turn to serve, and the crowd cheered as the Bears gained another point. At the first time out of the set, the scoreboard read home: 14, guest: 4. The students screamed, “purple” and “gold” back and forth until the buzzer sounded throughout the gym signaling the end of the break.

 Later in the night, a girl from Lake Howell served and started an intense volley back and forth. The girls swarmed around their courts, chasing the ball. After a little nail-biting, Winter Springs earned another point, 17-6. Number 3 Alysha Morales stood behind the thin white line and prepared to serve, a deep breath then smack. The ball soared across the net and was received by a Silverhawk, but in the end, the Bears won the volley 19-6. There was almost no hope for the opposing team, but there were a couple of sets where Lake Howell was slowly coming back. Then Emma Boyle, number 8, hit a kill for the Purple and Gold, and we won the second set 25-16.

The crowd mingled about the stands waiting for the third set; some left, but most stayed. Snack and restroom breaks were in order. It was starting to be a later night than previously anticipated. Following the trend from previous sets, Lake Howell got the first point, but soon enough the score was 5-3 after 13 Carola Negron served. Students chanted, “Bears, bears, bears, bears, bears.” At the timeout, the score was 7-3. The set moved quickly with not many whoops for the Silverhawks. A sort of tiredness spread throughout the room, and even the players could feel it with a score of 18 even. There were many interesting volleys and moments of hesitation, but only the spirit of the student section remained, and even those were dying down. Boyle served again; Lake Howell got the point; the lights made out 21-20. Tensions increased, and attention was drawn back into the game as the Bears were about to earn the winning point of the set. Everything moved fast, but in the last second of the play, the blue and silver got the point; however, in the end, the Bears won the third set 25-22.

More students exited the building with the night getting too late and too much uncertainty about a fifth set. Parents chatted about the fourth set. If the Bears won, the game was over for the night, but there was a chance Lake Howell could win and push the game even later into the night, a dreaded thought. Things had to be done, but even the people who left wanted to know the outcome. Perdue, 9, served first. The remaining people waited on the edge of their seats to watch the girls pass the ball and strike kills. Lake Howell’s energy was little to none, and Bears stood wearily. The lead we had kept getting stronger and stronger until the score was 22-14. The other side won just one more point before the Bears won the last set 25-15. Fans cheered for their friends and family. It was over. The next day, the players shared a reflection on the game. 

Zoe Chu, number 5, called the game “intense, exciting, and sensational.” She’s not only a middle blocker but also “the grounding factor to help keep our team calm.” She labeled the ending adrenaline rush as the best feeling after the game. Boyle stated the team could improve on maintaining high and positive energy rather than “riding an emotional roller coaster.” She did enjoy it when they flooded the floor after Klingenberg’s winning kill. Abby Denton, number 10 and setter, hopes to work on communication with her teammates but remembers best supporting freshman May Daugherty as she got kills and her very first block of the season. The Lady Bears have much success to look forward to in their future.