The ground was rumbling and the cheers were echoing as friends and families from both sides screamed chants. The stands on one side were filled with a sea of green, shuffling pom poms, and ecstatic supporters. The energy at the City Section Open Division Girls Volleyball Finals was to the roof as the ERHS team competed for the winning city title against Palisades and the opportunity to go to state.
A day before the game, Coach Tim Bergeron pepped up both the girls’ and boys’ volleyball team in preparation for the big game. He urged them to tell friends and family and make them attend. This would be the first time Coach Tim would ever have the opportunity to coach for a top division final. This game means so much to the entire team as well as it would mean that their years of hard work would finally pay off. Jade Fuentes, outside hitter and member of the team since freshman year states that “Personally, it would mean an end to the beginning.”
In the first set of the game, player, Wendy Jurenec was forced to step out from an injury and the crowds applauded her off. Defensive specialist, Sarah Carbonel served up aces and helped the team back on their feet. The eagle rock team still managed to pull through without their starting outside hitter and won the set, 25-21. In the second set, trials and tribulations were apparent as Palisades pushed, you could tell how much both teams wanted it. Wendy returned for the set, limping but still managing to pull together for her team. Palisades ended up winning the set 15-25 with an honorable effort from the opposing side. Inset three spirits were high and with the loss of the last set, the lady eagles knew they had to put their best foot forward. The close game came to a close in the last set when a nearly minute-long rally ended with a kill by Jade Fuentes(26-24). In the final set of the game, both teams felt the heat and pressure, especially our girls because if they won the set it would mean a city title. Efforts were put forward by both teams but in the end, Eagle Rock was victorious in a three-point lead, 25-22 that closed the game.
The word fruition means a lot for this team. Coach Tim points out that, “Long term, forget about winning a title, having a trophy, or medals. It gives confidence to all the people in the program that if they believe in something, have a vision for it, set a goal for it, and work really hard. It doesn’t mean it will happen, but it can happen.” And it did. Tears streamed from the girls’ eyes as they fell to the floor, the crowd cheered louder than ever and signaled that all of their long hours, intense practices, and lost games were worth the struggle. For the senior girls, it meant closure, reaching goals, and triumph. The only question now is. How far will they soar?