Girls volleyball falls to Capuchino in season opener

Right+side+setter+Olivia+Calandra+sets+the+ball+to+middle+hitter%2C+Sasha+Grett.

Michelle Moshkovoy

Right side setter Olivia Calandra sets the ball to middle hitter, Sasha Grett.

Michelle Moshkovoy, Head Photographer

The girls volleyball program has battled through its fair share of obstacles since winning the CCS Division III Volleyball Championship and playing their last game against Lowell High School on Nov. 16, 2019 in the NorCal playoffs. 

Originally a Season 1 sport permitted to play in the orange tier, girls volleyball was set to start in December. This was deterred by the holiday COVID-19 surge and the program found itself conditioning on the field through much of the fall of 2020 until Feb. 24, when they got the green light to condition in the gym.  

A season became all the more uncertain when, on Feb. 19, volleyball was bumped down to a yellow tier sport. 

So when word came in mid-April, after a five-month wait, that there would be a ten-game intradistrict season, players and coaches were ecstatic. 

The team had their first official practice on Monday, an unconventional occurrence in a normal year.

“[Practicing for a short amount of time] has had a huge impact. We’re not the same team that we would be if we had a lot of time to play, but I think through the course of this season we’ll get there,” Burlingame varsity coach K’Lynn Solt said.

  The Panthers opened their season against Capuchino High School on April 22 at home. 

 Capuchino came out dominant in the first set, leading 12-6. Burlingame came climbing back, trailing by 19-15. However, the Mustangs subsequently went on a 6-0 run, taking the first set 25-15.  

The first set had some bright spots, as sophomore Sasha Grett and freshman Olivia Calandra each served an ace.

Much of the second set was a back and forth, with the Panthers eventually building a 19-16 lead. Capuchino came firing back, only allowing Burlingame to score one more point for the remainder of the set, winning 25-20.  

The Panthers played tenaciously in the third set, but the Mustangs proved to be too much, ultimately besting Burlingame 25-17 and completing the sweep. 

Despite the loss, Solt was proud of her team’s performance. The team was shorthanded with three players missing, making only six available — four of whom were underclassmen.

“Overall, our team did a good job. And we are short players, but better girls came out with a lot of energy and enthusiasm and ready to play,” Solt said.  

Solt emphasizes being smarter with ball placement and having more awareness of her team’s hitting on the court when looking at areas of improvement for upcoming games.  

Burlingame shifts gears to Aragon this week, as they face the Dons on April 29 and 30.