The Palos Verdes girls volleyball team utilized an aggressive mentality and an exceptional energy level to do something Tuesday that had never been done before in the program’s history: defeat Mira Costa.
“We knew we’d never beaten Mira Costa, and we wanted to start as aggressive as possible,” Palos Verdes’ Finley Shannon said. “Having the kind of energy and effort we had helps us play better and with more confidence.”
Shannon totaled 14 digs and nine kills, and Kate Lane added 35 assists, nine digs, seven kills and three blocks to boost PV to a 25-20, 17-25, 28-26, 25-17 Bay League victory.
Lane admitted to being shocked by the outcome.
“I’m amazed. This has been a goal of mine for so long,” Lane said. “I know most of the girls on Mira Costa’s team from club volleyball, and I just played to the best of my ability and was there for the team. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
PV coach Patrick Lynch said the Sea Kings’ determination to win Tuesday began in practice.
“The last few practices were the hardest I’ve ever seen the girls work,” Lynch said. “They wanted this game, and they weren’t going down without a fight.”
That was apparent from the outset.
PV (14-6, 1-0) jumped out to a 6-1 lead on Lane’s set-kill in the opening game. Mira Costa closed within two points after Katie Colvin’s kill.
Shannon recorded a pair of kills to give PV a bit of breathing room before Jessica Majka’s kill dropped in to end the first.
“We didn’t take care of the ball, and its disappointing when you give up points on errors,” Mira Costa’s Kate Reilly said. “That just fed PV’s momentum.”
Mira Costa (8-3, 0-1) utilized its size at the net and took advantage of PV’s unforced errors in the second game to even the match.
Nicole Underwood recorded four of Mira Costa’s final six points, and Ella Snyder’s left-handed quick-kill closed out the second.
“We weren’t as aggressive at the net,” Shannon said, “and we were just defending and not playing our hardest (in the second).”
The two teams battled for momentum in the third game, as neither squad took more than a two-point edge.
After battling through three game points, PV took advantage of Underwood’s unforced error to take a 27-26 lead. When Lane’s ace dropped behind the Mustangs’ back line, the Sea Kings were back in control of the match.
Following a Mira Costa error in the fourth game, PV took its first lead at 16-15 and didn’t look back. The Sea Kings recorded 10 of the final 12 points, closing out the match with Lane’s ninth kill of the day.
Mira Costa coach Cam Green said the Mustangs’ lack of effort in practice set the tone for Tuesday’s contest.
“We played how we practiced – with no energy and no effort,” Green said. “PV outplayed us, and we didn’t have any effort whatsoever. We have to learn from this. We just weren’t ready to play.”
Lane knows the Sea Kings accomplished something many in the program had only dreamed about. She’s also certain that when the two rivals meet again on Oct. 7, the Sea Kings should expect the very best from Mira Costa.
“They’ll come out super strong and wanting revenge,” Lane said. “We need to use this win to bring us some momentum into the next game.”