Volleyball is a dream sport with lots of energy, lots of color, lots of back and forth, and when it’s played well, it’s over and out in less than an hour.
And boy, did the Lady Raiders varsity squad play well against the visiting Highland Huskies on Oct. 17, beating them 3-0, sending them home within 45 minutes of the opening serve, and jumping to an 8-6 record in the process.
It took a few points for Red to get moving, though. After going shot for shot with Highland in the first game, Red Hook took the lead at 7-6 before running away with it. Red went on a serious streak, managing to give up only one point in 10 volleys and beating the Huskies 25-12.
Highland came out listless in the second game, calling a timeout with Red Hook leading 9-3. It didn’t help. Red Hook played the ball low and let the outmatched Huskies beat themselves, seemingly unable to return anything that the Lady Raiders sent their way. After the timeout, Red Hook allowed only a single point on their way to a 24-4 victory.
There were some signs of life from Highland in the final game. The Huskies stayed within 10 points of the Lady Raiders until the end, but had trouble dealing with Red Hook’s Cassidy Murray on the net. Red Hook picked things up after a spike from Lady Raider Sophie Akoundi gave them a 14-9 lead, and Morgan Schultz iced the game, 25-14, with an ace.
Lizzie Westermeyer logged 17 assists for Red, and Kali Thorpe notched five kills.
Big wins have been hard to come by for Red Hook this year, and head coach Rachel Carter told The Observer that she’s glad that her team was able to hold it together with such a big lead. “It’s hard sometimes to be able to stay focused and play your game, no matter what the outcome is. And I think that the girls are really learning how to play the mental aspect of this, which shows their maturity and their progression in playing the sport,” she said.
Red is headed to the Section IX, Class B volleyball tournament as the two-seed, and will face off against three-seed New Paltz on Nov. 2 in Red Hook. The winner will face off with one-seed and bye-winner Marlboro at State University of New York at New Paltz on Nov. 4.