It was the fourth match in four days for the Golden Valley girls volleyball team, but even as fatigue set in, the team fought until the end, losing to Chaminade in five games.
The Grizzlies (2-2) lost the first game 26-24, then rebounded to win the second game 25-19. Junior setter Jordan Nunez set the tone early in the second game with a key block as well as an ace near the end of the game, giving the Grizzlies a 22-17 advantage. Sophomore middle blocker Sahliyah Ravare also had several crucial blocks and a kill, helping to keep the momentum going for the Grizzlies.
“I thought Sahliyah did some really good things,” head coach Jack Johnson said. “She was very active blocking today. She shut down a lot of their attacks.”
Going into the third game tied with the Eagles (2-1), the Grizzlies’ energy level started to dwindle, a result of three road matches to start the week, not to mention classes started today.
“Fatigue set in, it absolutely did. That third set I could tell that they were gassed,” Johnson said. “I told them we weren’t practicing tomorrow, so leave everything out there today. So in the fourth set they found a little burst of energy, but at the end you could tell they were up slower from being really fatigued.”
“My back started wearing out and everything,” said junior opposite hitter Kelsea Shea, who happened to be celebrating her birthday. “With the conditions we had, we played as hard as we could. It didn’t work out how we wanted, but we played to the best of our ability.”
Nunez and Ravare used the energy boost to their advantage in the fourth game, with the former recording four kills and a block. Ravare added two kills and a block, leading the Grizzlies to a 25-20 fourth game victory.
Junior libero Reinyel Leonidas was also all over the court, making it seem like she was playing in her first match of the season. She was able to return a multitude of tough serves.
“She was and has been absolutely fantastic all week, I can’t say enough good things about her,” Johnson said. “Her elevation in her game from last year to this year has been phenomenal. They’re tough serves, she just absorbs them. It’s amazing to me what she’s able to do on a daily basis.”
The Grizzlies fought hard in the fifth game, tying it 3-3 after a kill from sophomore defensive specialist Delany Sherwood. They weren’t able to push the lead however, allowing three points in a row before eventually falling 15-10.
While the loss wasn’t the birthday present Shea was hoping for, she still appreciated the support from the crowd.
“It was definitely the largest crowd we’ve ever had out here,” Shea said. “It was a surreal experience, having everyone cheering for my birthday.”
The Grizzlies will have a few days off before hitting the road to take on Eastside at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 21.
What will the team be doing before their next match?
“Definitely get lots of rest,” said Shea.