By Lindsey Martino
Last Friday, Terra Linda High School defeated the Novato High varsity girl’s volleyball team on Hornet home turf in a best of 5 match, 3 to 2.
Novato players set up the array of chairs, volleyball net, and designated reffing area necessary to facilitate the game. Songs like “Black and Yellow” and “Fergalicious” blared from the surround-sound stereo system in the Gordon gym, as varsity girls began their 8 minute warm-up.
Spectators immediately felt the electric environment. Novato girl’s varsity squad usually draws in a large, loyal fanbase for their home games.
“I love the atmosphere and the unity of everyone coming together as a swarm,” said Novato senior Sergio Melendez.
The new attention around Novato girl’s varsity volleyball can be attributed to new coach, Arturo Velasquez.
“I feel really lucky to be able to coach this great group of girls,” he said. “The girls have worked really hard this season and had excellent results.”
The first of 5 games resulted in Terra Linda holding a minimum and consistent 4 to 3 point lead throughout the game. Coach Velasquez nervously called a timeout as Terra Linda surged ahead to 20-13, eventually swiping the court at 25-16.
The crowd did not give up hope for Novato. Continuous chants erupted from the bleachers in rehearsed unison.
“Let’s go Novato!” and “Let’s get rowdy!” were shouted by Hornet supporters in an amplified chorus-line. The referee waved them off to begin the second of 5 games.
Novato started this game with a refreshed look of determination.
“I think we always have a cloudy first game and then after that, our team finds a way to click together,” said Novato passer Sarah Bailey. “Our passes get down, our sets get down, our hits get down.”
Novato gained a quick 10-8 point lead in the second game. The crowd picked up as Emma Woerner continuously put the ball away with her consistent placement.
A timeout was called at 19-8 (Novato) to which the girls gathered in a huddle to regroup.
“Good set, good hit, goodbye,” was chanted by middle hitter, Sabrina Lechner, as the team returned to the court to finish it.
Novato handily put away the second match, 25-11.
Tensions rose as Terra Linda tried to reassert themselves into the game. It was a close, nail-biting third game but Novato came out on top once again, 25-23.
At this point, Novato held a 2-1 match lead but the team lost their momentum down the stretch, and handed the game to Terra Linda, who won 25-16.
“I believe that we will win” and “This is our house” were desperately shouted by the Novato student section. These chants bellowed throughout the gym. Novato spirit shook the competition, prompting Terra Linda high to respond by shouting, “Let’s go TL!”
Halfway through the fifth and final game, Terra Linda led 7-4. Novato girls visibly lost their edge. Frustrated looks surfaced on the Novato players’ faces. Terra Linda kept a small, but significant lead.
In the end, Terra Linda prevailed, 15 to 9.
Woerner attributed the loss to the team’s lack of momentum as the score gap continued to widen.
“We tend to make our own mistakes,” she said. “It’s about the fight to come out on top and who’s willing to fight for it.”
“We still love you!” is chanted in harmony by supportive Novato fans in the bleachers.
The Novato Girl’s Volleyball team next scheduled home game is September 30, 2016 against Marin Catholic.