AWHS bounces back against Head-Royce Jayhawks in first game of North Coast Section Championships


Gabriela Yacoub and Isabella Welter Vazquez

Sophomore Reese Fraser (#2) sets up senior Josie Griffiths for an easy kill. The duo each had great games, which ultimately led to AWHS’s advancement in the NCS championships.

On Tuesday, Oct. 26, AWHS girls varsity volleyball hosted the Head-Royce Jayhawks from Oakland, CA in the first match of the North Coast Section (NCS) Division 3 Championships. The tournament’s two-seed, AWHS, was the heavy favorite coming into the matchup. 

The Falcons ended their Marin County Athletic League (MCAL) season with a 17-6 record, but entered the NCS match dropping four out of their last five games. AWHS only needed the minimum of three sets to convincingly sweep Head-Royce.

“We have not played up to our standards these past few games, but it was nice to get a win tonight,” said varsity coach Lisa Hudson.

The struggles from the end of the Falcons’ MCAL season had no effect on their performance in the first NCS game, as they soared to secure an early 5-1 lead in their first set. However, the Jayhawks were able to claw their way back into the set, making the score 15-13, in favor of AWHS. Senior Middle Blocker, Josie Griffiths, led the Falcons to the first set victory (25-23) with two blocks and two kills.

 “Our communication on and off the court was the cause for a lot of tonight’s success,”  Josie said. “Supporting each other as well as putting our previous few games behind us were the key to tonight’s victory.”

AWHS built off of their momentum from the first set and flew out to another early lead in the second set, 12-3. The Falcons never looked back, winning the set by a final score of 25-15. In the third set, AWHS took a commanding 24-12 lead but dropped the next 5 points. The Falcons ended up winning the third set by a score of 25-17 after fending off the Jayhawk run.

Junior Outside Hitter, Elsa Snipes, had a strong game with 11 kills and 1 ace. Sophomore Setter/Right Side Hitter, Reese Fraser, also had an exceptional game with 5 kills, 12 assists, and 4 blocks. However, Coach Hudson still thinks there is room to improve.

“We were not our best tonight, we were very sloppy on our serves and need to improve on that,” Hudson said. “All I want is for us to have a game with as few errors as possible.”

The AWHS girls varsity volleyball team hopes to improve their play and clean up their errors in order to continue their NCS run. The Falcons will face off against the tenth seed, Sonoma Valley High School, in the quarterfinals of the NCS Division 3 Championships on Saturday, Oct. 30.