The Knight's volleyball team defended their home court against rival SHP in a Thursday night showdown. Staff photo by Emilio Simbeck.
By Silas Stewart
Coming into the game, the Menlo girls volleyball team prepared for a challenging Thursday night, where they would take on rival Sacred Heart Prep in WBAL league play. Fortunately for the Knights, it didn’t seem like much of a challenge throughout the match, as the Knights won in spectacular fashion winning, sweeping all 3 sets against the Gators. The Knights displayed dominance with set scores of 25-19, 25-16, and 25-14.
One aspect of the game that never failed to amaze the crowd was the Knights’ rock solid defense. Junior Sianna Houghton lead the team 19 digs, while teammates Kristin Sellers and Riley Holland added 11 and nine, respectively. The Knights also had multiple blocks. Junior Selina Xu contributed two and a half,and senior Ryan Hodge added a pair as well..
The astounding defensive play by the Knights allowed Menlo to set up a strong attack. A multitude of players for Menlo put up great numbers on the offensive side of the ball . Three year starter Xu once again lead the charge with 12 kills and 15 assists, while Houghton, junior Grace King, and Sellers supported with seven kills each.
Hodge later credited their win to pre-game rituals and enthusiasm. “As a team, we always perform a few pregram rituals. We have dance parties in the locker rooms and we like to cheer on JV before every game. I think these really help us come together as a team and makes us perform better on the court,” Hodge said.
Overall, the game seemed to always be in the Knights favor. And even though at times the Gators threatened their lead when the Knights faltered, the Knights never failed to quickly establish control again. The Knights clearly demonstrated who “controls Valparaiso” on the volleyball court thus far.