Skyline’s diamonds in the rough shine through the rubble


Photos by Kevin Perez/The Skyline View

Justice Afatasi kills the ball but was challenged by the Siskyous block on September 23, 2016.

The Skyline volleyball team hosted the Golden Gate Classic and played against the Siskiyous Eagles as well the Shasta Knights on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016. The lady Trojans lost both matchups, losing to Siskiyous after five sets and Shasta after only three. Despite the results, Skyline’s losses may not be as it seem.

Skyline’s opening match up was against the Eagles and it went off to a good start. During the first set, Skyline’s defense and offense did its job to go back-and-forth against Siskiyous, but it wasn’t enough to bring them over the top during the first set.

The next set was more favorable to Skyline but both teams began to bring more effort.

In the second set, the Trojan’s defense paved the way for their offense. Skyline’s Opposite, Zina Kelati and Middle Blocker Jaichelle White’s hustle were essential during this set as the team went on the offensive.

Leading Skyline’s offense was Outside Hitter Justice Afatasi, who delivered her share of kills; with all of this factors combined, Skyline came back 26-24 to win the set.

“We are swinging a lot better and we always find the open spots on the court. I feel like our hitters did a great job finding the kill shots,” Skyline’s Libero Marlene Alcantara said.

The third set is when things got pretty ugly for the Trojans, losing the set 25-14. Siskiyous displayed attacks that were more rigorous than the Trojans can handle which cost them the set. Several calls from the officials also affected Siskiyous’ win this round.

With the Eagles leading, Skyline exploded in the fourth. Afatasi, along with Outside Hitter Claire Hardiman lead the team offensively with the rest doing their part. White’s defense and Setter Marisa Kealoha’s all around work won them the set, 27-25. The Skyline’s well-rounded teamwork held on through to the fifth set but Siskiyous barely won the last set 15-13.

“They continue to push the entire time. They didn’t give up. There have been times where something didn’t really go their way before the ball’s dead; now, they are still going to try. The hustle and the scrapping are starting to pay off for them. They could’ve lost their sets but instead they pushed it to fifth,” Skyline’s Head Coach Rayannah Salahuddin said during the break before the Shasta game.

The exhausted Skyline team now has to face the state-ranked Shasta.

“[Playing two games in a row] improves my mental toughness. So when we play the next match, I can help my team up and just go start the next set,” White said on the effects of playing two consecutive games.

After five grueling sets against Siskiyous, Skyline’s diminished state was apparent against the fully-rested Knights that a few moments ago, swept Mission College. Fatigue causes the Trojans to be plagued by ballhandling errors; combined with the Knight’s great succession of aces, there was no contest.

However, Afatasi remained a dominant figure on the court with several kills in the way of spikes during the duration of the Shasta match up. Another noteworthy player against Shasta was Hardiman, who scored points alongside Afatasi.

Despite of the losses, Skyline’s team displayed talent and drive but came up short because of some mental lapses.

“Our mental game needs to be better. This game, our mental game and energy was a lot lower. If we have a high energy and strong mental game we would’ve done a lot better,” Hardiman said after the game against Shasta.