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Hidden Valley Volleyball Aces Spartans 3-0 on Senior Night

Senior night in girls’ volleyball can come with plenty of distractions and emotions that can easily disrupt the evening’s festivities.

Thursday night in the Hidden Valley gym, twelve Titan underclassmen made sure nobody crashed the party.

Scoring often, with precision and in huge runs, Hidden Valley improved to 17-0 on the season with a convincing 25-12, 25-11, 25-9 blitz of the visiting Salem Spartans (10-7).

Hidden Valley senior Abby Crosser (far-court in blue) finesses a shot over the Spartan front line Thursday night.

The Titans were in the unusual position of only having one senior, Abby Crosser, walk across the court with family members in the pre-match ceremony.

Although the numbers were low, the reception and excitement from her teammates, coaches and Titan fans were unmistakable.

When asked after the win if she felt like the team mom or psychologist to twelve underclassmen, Crosser responded with a chuckle.

“Yea, it’s definitely sort of weird being the only senior. But it’s also a lot of fun being a part of this team. These girls are great.”

Hidden Valley opened the first set with a quick 8-3 lead before keeping the pedal down to increase their advantage to 20-10. A 5-2 push at the end put the opening set in the Titans’ column and it was only a sign of more to come.

Set-2 saw the Titans again run out to an 8-3 lead and go up 14-8 midway through. Hidden Valley then hit the Spartans with kills, dinks and aces to reel off 10 straight points to reach set-point at 24-8. Salem had one of its best runs of the night with three straight scores, but the Titans ended things by breaking the Spartans’ next serve.

Hidden Valley head coach Carla Ponn, up 2-0, was in the position to give the crowd a better look at the players of the future, and her girls didn’t disappoint in the third set.

Titan sophomore Sophie Arnold (opposite side of net) fires one of her 13 kills in the Titans’ win over Salem.

5ft-8 sophomore Sophie Arnold got the ball rolling to start the third set with three straight points off her serve. Up 8-3 for the third straight set, Titan sophomore Chloe Muscaro got in the act by providing multiple points off her serves that had the Spartans on their heels. Up 14-7, 5ft-7 sophomore Calli Anderson got in the service groove with a barrage of points, followed later by a 4-point run by sophomore Mackenzie Ferguson that included two laser aces. Up 23-7, the Titans were content to swap the final 4 points, including the match winner on an ace by Arnold.

Mackenzie Ferguson was all smiles about her role in the win.

“I began playing volleyball in middle school in the 7th grade. Now, to be on this team is an amazing opportunity. I think as a team we all want to bring our best game each match and we all want to keep playing better. It’s all about the team.”

Sophomore Caleigh Ponn, the head coach’s daughter, led the onslaught with 14 kills and 11 digs, while Arnold, dominant at the net, slammed 13 kills past the Spartan defense. Junior libero Lauren Whittaker brought up a dozen digs and served 4 aces.

Coach Ponn provided another thought on the successful outcome.

“The only thing I’m going to say is that what you saw tonight was all for Abby Crosser. That’s it, these girls did it for Abby Crosser.

Bill Turner



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