Lady Bulldogs Bitten by Vixens
By: Noah Hellermann
The third floor gymnasium at Stuyvesant High School was filling with spectators as the Vixens warmed up. Stuyvesant’s girls’ volleyball team took their warm ups as an opportunity to be loud and proud, hyping up the gymnasium. Seniors Marta Poplawski and Diane Forrest slammed kills over the net off of feeds from setter and senior Anna Wang.
As fans whistled and cheered with each practice shot, coach Joshua Yang appreciated the atmosphere. “Going into our first home game, I didn’t know what to expect. It was a good crowd, and the seniors especially seemed excited,” Yang said.
The Washington Irving Lady Bulldogs responded with their own cheers, breaking out of their huddle chanting and rocking back and forth. Junior Alice Li of Stuyvesant took the team on their first scoring run, serving and giving the Vixens a 5-1 lead. The Lady Bulldogs fought back to bring the score within two, until Stuyvesant’s senior and captain Natalie Kozlova spiked a ball over the net, and began to serve, winning the last six points to make the final score 25-12.
In the second game, the score stayed almost even until the Vixens again pulled ahead. After a long run that put Stuyvesant up 20-10, Forrest had two strong kills, and freshman Mariya Kulyk served until the Vixens won the game and the match, 25-10.
After the match, the team wasn’t done. Most of the players continued to practice setting and spiking, digging and passing. In fact, the team was far from satisfied with the game.
Kozlova was less worried about physical errors than she was about the team’s spirit. “It’s fine to make mistakes, but our attitude wasn’t great. We need to forget about mistakes and keep looking to the next point,” Kozlova said.
Coach Yang concluded that the Vixens could have played better and harder, even though they faced one of the weaker teams in the division. Considering the upcoming game against Seward Park, a contender in the division this season, Yang wanted to make sure his team was prepared. “We need to play well consistently, all the time, no matter what the competition is,” Yang said.
Vixens Sweep Lady Raptors in Close Sets
By: Matthew Moy
The undefeated Vixens faced a strong team in the 2-1 Bard High School Early College Lady Raptors on Friday, October 5. In two competitive sets, the Vixens earned their fourth win with scores of 25-19 and 25-23.
Going into the game, the Vixens faced the absence of seniors Anna Wang and Diane Forrest. “Since we didn’t have a setter and a hitter, I was a little nervous, but we’ve played without them before, so I knew that we had a chance to win. I was expecting personal mistakes especially because a lot of the players are younger,” senior Marta Poplawski said.
The Lady Raptors sided out off their first serve, and the Vixens continued to pile on the points after that. The Vixens never looked back, and took the first set 25-19.
The second set saw the Vixens fall behind 8-9 at one point. Senior and captain Natalie Kozlova sparked a comeback with a kill down the middle, which drew a nice round of applause from the crowd. She also got an ace, when she served the ball short to the center, which caught the Lady Raptors off guard. The Vixens took the heavily contested second set, 25-23.
“In the second set, I got some of the other girls in. I got Mariya [Kulyk] in, she’s a freshman. I wanted her to get used to playing outside, hitting the ball, playing aggressive, just learning that position. I put Emma [Loh] in the back row; same thing, just learning how to pass, getting familiar with the position. I’m trying to filter in a couple of girls that haven’t really played too much, and that might have cost us a couple of points, but I think later on it’s a good investment,” coach Joshua Yang said.
Kozlova attributed the closeness of second match to lack of cohesion. “For next game, we should know each others’ positions and trust each other more. [We need] to get the ball better within your range, like coach says, ‘within your radius.’ Everyone has a different radius, so you have to know each player, and trust them to get what they have to get. And of course we could talk more,” Kozlova said.
Following this game against Bard, the Vixens continued their winning streak beating Norman Thomas and Murry Bergtraum both in two sets.