By Jeremy Balan
For any high school girls volleyball team, the first match of the an opportunity to work out the kinks of a long layoff, and Drew School’s first match against visiting Pescadero was not an exception.
The Dragons worked through a shaky start to cruise to a 25-10, 25-7, 25-11 victory over the Vikings in non-league play on Wednesday at Booker T. Washington Community Center.
Early Drew (1-0) errors allowed Pescadero (0-1) to open up a 2-1 and 3-2 lead in the first game, but the Dragons immediately went on a 12-0 run and didn’t allow the Vikings to hold a lead for the rest of the match.
“Our biggest opponent was probably ourselves,” said Drew assistant coach Alyssa Veith, who was serving as head coach in the absence of Lindsey Stiles. “You could see all the girls stressing out on the court, and that was the hardest part tonight.”
Led by a match-high seven kills from Ava Decker, the Dragons outmatched Pescadero in height and athleticism, but the lopsided result was mostly due to the inexperience of the Vikings, who only tallied six total kills and struggled to return Drew serves.
“It’s good to play teams like this, even though they weren’t competitive, It’s good for the girls to focus and work hard,” Veith said. “I think you need a balance of hard competition and confidence-builders [in non-league play].”
Drew’s greatest advantage was their serving, which amounted for 16 total aces and equaled the Dragons’ kill total. Outside hitter Iris Qasevakatini led the way with six aces but three other Drew players had three or more.
“A lot of these girls played when we didn’t have a lot of height, so we emphasized a lot of serving,” Veith said.
Vieth also stressed the importance of many of the Drew players participating in year-long club programs, which has kept them in season form.
“Usually it takes a few weeks in the beginning of the season to start back up, but for the most part, I think the team came back stronger than ever,” Vieth said.