The Bull's Eye

Lady Brahmas reach quarterfinals

VOLLEYBALL The girls’ five game winning streak came to a halt against St. Paul in the third round.

Senior Hannah Wangsa returns a volley against Cerritos on Nov. 2.

Senior Hannah Wangsa returns a volley against Cerritos on Nov. 2.

Photos by HANNAH LEE

Photos by HANNAH LEE

Senior Hannah Wangsa returns a volley against Cerritos on Nov. 2.

Ryan Chae, Sports Editor

The Lady Brahmas defeated Cerritos 3-1 in the second round of the CIF playoffs.

After ending the season on a three game winning streak and placing third in the Palomares League, the Diamond Bar High School volleyball team’s run ended in the quarterfinals of the CIF playoffs, losing to St. Paul in three sets.

The girls’ journey to the  CIF was an arduous one, filled with the major loss of junior outside hitter Emily Chiang and close games, but after ending the season on their winning streak the Lady Brahmas claimed an official spot with a league record of 5-5.

“It’s been a roller coaster of a season,” senior captain Ana Figueroa said. “Those wins really helped boost our confidence because it showed we were able to adapt to changes.”

Early on in the season, the girls’ team goal was cohesiveness, but the rough beginning led head coach Katie Swetnam change it to energy.

“Our coach realized it was not about how well we work together, but how well we start together,” Figueroa said. “We would always start the game slow, and we wouldn’t have the right mindset entering the game. We needed to start off strong and finish stronger.”

Through seven games, the girls were 2-5 and fifth in league. Down two sets on Oct. 13 against Ayala, the Lady Brahmas willed themselves to a 3-2 win over the Bulldogs and kept their CIF hopes alive. It was this game that senior Ana Figueroa called “the turning point” of the season.

The girls won their next match against South Hills in a close 3-2 victory. DB won the first set, but the Lady Huskies won the next two sets.

The Lady Brahmas pulled off another clutch effort, winning their next two sets.

DB ended the season with a 3-1 win on senior night over second place Claremont, clinching them a berth in the playoffs.

“We finally played with cohesion. I had a lot of girls step up and take charge on the court after they started slow on the season. Our drive and our passion led to our winning streak,” Swetnam said.

In the first round of CIF, the team defeated Shadow Hills on Oct. 31 in three sets, winning the Lady Brahmas’ first playoff game in nearly five years.

They followed up that win with another victory over Cerritos on Nov. 2 in four sets. On Nov. 4, the girls’ five game winning streak came to end at St. Paul.

Though the season is over, Swetnam felt that the team did a great job this year.

“I’m extremely proud of the girls. Coming out of last season where we finished fifth in league, the expectations were low overall for our program, and it turned into a little Cinderella story,” Swetnam said. “We finished third in league and made it to the quarterfinals, which hasn’t happened since 2012. I feel that we exceeded everyone’s expectations including our own.”

Next season, the team will be losing half their team to graduation, but Swetnam said she believed that the team will be fine with the experienced gained by the underclassmen.

“I think we’re going to look good next year. We’re going to be strong next year and we have to work hard, but a lot of the players on the court were juniors and a few sophomores.”

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