Holiday handicaps volleyball team in loss to Price

BP Photo by Sharona Sedighim

By Sharona Sedighim, Staff Writer

The Firehawk volleyball team lost its home opener to Price High School of South Central L.A. in the Fairfax High School gym Oct. 1. But they made up for it a few days later, defeating Summit View West at the Westchester Recreation Center with a score of 3 – 0. The season’s first game came just as Rosh Hashanah was ending — Havdalah was at 7:06 p.m., and by 8:00 the girls were on the court. As families were wrapping up their holiday celebrations and teens were going to parties, the Lady Firehawks were suiting up and getting their game faces on. Fans arrived as the two teams were warming up. Communication challenges, especially between players, plagued the Firehawks as the first game began, but at first they were able to keep up with the Price Knights. Senior Raquel Garshofsky, the team’s co-captain, scored several points in the first few minutes, with great hits and saves and a rocket serve that made Price work hard to return the ball. At the first time-out of the game, Shalhevet was up by two points. “The beginning of the game was hard,” said freshman team member Shana Chriki. “We were losing by a lot. Later we caught up and it was very exciting to watch.” The Firehawks worked hard, but at the end of the first game, they had lost by eight points, 25 to 17. After a short break, the team hoped to win the next game. They struggled in beginning, losing three points in a row. But then the tide turned, as Shalhevet won many rallies while continuing their hard-hitting serves. Price seemed to lose some of its confidence, but then gained it back. “We didn’t work as hard as we could have,” said sophomore Sophie Ouaknine, playing in her second year on this team. Liat Bainvoll, also a second-year player, blamed it on the holiday. “We were not in the mood,” said Liat. “We were tired from Rosh Hashanah, and we needed a little more practice.” The second game ended with a Firehawk loss of 25 – 16. By the third game, the girls were losing hope and slacking off. Haddar Azrad, co-captain, and senior Shelley Avraham scored nine points altogether, but it wasn’t enough to defeat the Knights.  The Firehawks lost the third and final game 25 – 12. It was a different story in the team’s second match of the season, although there was no reporter there to cover the game because it was during school. The girls returned around 5 p.m. with smiles on their faces, and it was obvious they’d defeated Summit View West. “The reason we won this game was because the first team we played was way better than the second,” said Haddar. “Also, a lot of people loosened up for the second game.” It also was on a school day, not an hour past Havdalah at the end of a three-day chag.