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Overlake volleyball rolling through league | SLIDESHOW
Overlake’s girls volleyballers received the royal treatment following Tuesday’s three-game sweep of visiting Seattle Academy.
After the Owls registered the final point and lined up at the net to slap hands with their opponents, Overlake students formed a human tunnel with their hands clasped together so the victors could stroll through it and celebrate their victory in style.
The players seemed a bit shy about partaking in the tunnel walk, but they went for it anyway.
On the court, the Owls were anything but reserved in their 25-11, 25-8, 25-13 wins to raise their 1A Emerald City League record to 4-1. Leading the way to victory were Emma Ross Williams with six kills, four digs and five aces, Andreea Gavrilescu with 11 assists, Carly Silvernale with nine digs and 10 aces and Sara Kern with seven assists.
“We’ve shown great improvement and we’ve really gelled together as a team, which has been awesome,” said Gavrilescu, a senior setter. “We have a lot of potential this year and I feel like we’re starting to definitely fulfill that potential, so I’m really excited about this year.”
Added Silvernale, a junior libero: “It’s really great playing with people you go to school with. We’ve really made a great team bond this year, so we’re really close. We’ve had a huge change of mindset this year, which is part of the reason we’ve been so successful — everybody’s focused, everybody’s determined, so it’s really fun to play.”
One of Overlake’s goals this season is to qualify for the state tournament. Last year, the Owls lost a close match in the opening round of tri-districts. It was a hard loss, and Gavrilescu, Silvernale and Ross Williams say that defeat is a huge motivator for them to make it to state.
“We’re coming back with a vengeance,” said a smiling Silvernale, who is the Owls’ all-time ace record holder with 171 and all-time dig record holder with 582.
As a libero, Silvernale’s personal goal is to feed the ball to her teammates and get the offense rolling — much like what occurred on Tuesday night.
Ross Williams, a sophomore outside hitter, said the Owls started out slow, but by they were firing on all cylinders before the match was over. Overlake dispatched of Seattle Academy in under an hour.
“It’s crazy, because sometimes at the beginning we’re still getting into it, but once we get the bench cheering and everything, we get into a mode where we just keep going — we’re ‘all in’ at the same time and it’s great,” she said.
Everybody’s not only trying to make an impact on the scoreboard, but they’re helping each other before and after plays, as well, Ross Williams said. Players need to be there for one another and supply encouragement to get over mistakes quickly, she added, and then everyone can move on to the next serve with a fresh mindset.
The lessons learned on the volleyball court also spill over into the players’ personal lives. Gavrilescu, a four-year varsity player, said Owl volleyball has been a crucial part of her life and she appreciates every aspect of the game.
“It’s an awesome experience to get to know a lot of girls outside of my grade, and it’s a place to really make connections and just learn how to be a team member,” she said. “Being humble in victory is definitely a big one I’ve learned and know how to motivate others.”
Overlake will next take the court at 5 p.m. tonight at Northwest School.