Following a regular-season where it defeated Mira Costa for the first time in its program's history, the Palos Verdes girls volleyball team learned its CIF Southern Section Division 2 first round playoff opponent Sunday afternoon.
The Sea Kings travel to Studio City, where they will meet Harvard-Westlake Thursday evening.
Coach Patrick Lynch isn't looking too much into the teams' first meeting—they squared off in August at the Ann Kang Invitational in Hawaii.
"At this point, from the beginning of the season to where we are now, we're two different teams," Lynch said. "We expect them to be better than they were at the beginning of the year."
PV swept the two-set match in Hawaii, and on Monday, the Sea Kings watched film on Thursday's opponent.
"We watched some film on them, and we're going to try to assimilate their offense within our practice," Lynch said. "We're working on match ups with their hitters we think are going to be their primary hitters."
But Lynch also noted how hard it is to stick to a game plan, especially in a playoff matchup.
"You can come up with a game plan, and many times within the first five minutes, you have to adapt to whats going on within the game," Lynch said.
The key to advancing, in Lynch's eyes, is PV controlling its half.
"You have to be able to execute on your half of the court," Lynch said. "Ultimately, you have to be able to run your offense and execute how you play volleyball. We've learned that when we're able to do that, we're a very competitive team."
That style of play has led PV not only to a win in the Dave Mohs Tournament Division 2 Gold Bracket in early September, but over Mira Costa Sept. 17 as well.
"We've won some big games having confidence in ourselves and what we're able to do on the court," Lynch said. "We're not focused so much on the other team, we're concerned with running our offense and how well we're playing."
PV has gotten solid play from Kate Lane and Finley Shannon, but it's been the play of Jesse Majka that has given the Sea Kings an added boost.
"Jesse has emerged as one of our go-to girls on the outside," Lynch said. "Her improvement has been pretty impressive throughout the year."
But Thursday will be about which team can play its best game and advance into the second round.
The winner will advance to play the Westlake-Ventura winner in Saturday's second round.
"With our experience and the games we've played during the season, I think we're going to be prepared for Thursday," Lynch said. "Any team can get hot, and you have to be able to adapt on the fly."