The Dublin High School’s Varsity Girls Volleyball team made history by advancing to their first ever appearance in the CIF State Tournament before losing at Escalon 3-1 in the opening round on November 9th.
The Gaels were powered by Rachel Grier’s 8 kills to win the first set 25-20. Unfortunately, Grier went down with an ankle injury early in the second set, and the momentum of the match began to swing in Escalon’s favor. The Cougars posted a convincing 2nd set win 25-14, and then withstood a late Dublin rally to win the 3rd set 25-23. Dublin trailed for most of the 4th set and were even down 24-20 before the Gaels stormed back for five straight points and were serving on set points on two occasions at 25-24 and 26-25. Ultimately, the Gaels couldn’t close the Cougars out and Escalon won the 4th set 28-26 to win the match.
Grier finished with 11 kills while Brielle Rodrigues added 10 kills and Nyla Helou tallied 6 kills to lead Dublin’s offensive attack. Lauren Dang compiled most of Dublin’s assists on those kills, finishing with 18. Defensively, Grier had 14 blocks and Maddie Cheung chipped in with 7 blocks. Pallak Thapur played a big role on the back line with 18 digs.
Although the final result at Escalon was not what the team had hoped for under difficult conditions, the team and particularly the seniors have a lot to be proud of. Despite losing so many talented seniors, the team returns several key contributors from this year’s squad and will be adding some of the top talent from the highly successful JV and Frosh teams that finished with a combined record of 29-5. Coach Mike Bongay is looking forward to a full offseason of training and bouncing back with a successful EBAL season and another postseason run next season.