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‘Sailing smooth’: Marina girls’ volleyball wins seventh in eight matches

The Marina girls' volleyball team celebrates a point against Pacifica during a nonleague match on Wednesday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

During the spring, the Marina High School gymnasium became a destination for the campus community as the boys’ volleyball program went on to win a CIF Southern Section and a state regional championship.

The Marina girls’ volleyball team has designs on a special season of its own, as evidenced by the hot start that the team has put together less than three full weeks into the schedule.

Junior setter Jordan Packer had 16 assists, five service aces and two kills, leading the host Vikings to a 25-21, 25-20, 25-14 victory over Pacifica in a nonleague match on Wednesday night.

Marina (9-2) won its third straight match and seventh in its last eight contests.

Marina's Dominique Vadeboncoeur attempts to block a shot by Pacifica's Jessica Pearce during a nonleague match on Wednesday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

“My goal was to be 10-2 going into league at the beginning of the season, so that’s still attainable,” Vikings coach Jake Nuneviller said. “We’ve got El Modena tomorrow, who is a very physical team. We’re going to have to play well to beat them.”

After dropping the first set at Westminster on Tuesday, Marina took its time settling into the match against Pacifica (6-3). The Vikings opened with an 11-5 lead, but nearly the whole advantage had evaporated with Natalia Walden-Schulz serving for the Mariners.

Packer took matters into her own hands with the score at 11-10, dumping the ball over the net for a kill. The Vikings reestablished a six-point lead and went on to win the set comfortably.

“I just dump when I feel like the time is right,” Packer said. “It just brings back all the power onto our side, and it makes us rack up more points.”

Marina's Dana Tran digs a ball during a nonleague match against Pacifica on Wednesday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Nuneviller said that his setter is virtually immune to pressure. Packer and her teammates have been applying pressure to opposing defenses from the service line. Marina had a combined 18 aces in the sweep of the Mariners.

“We put a lot of service pressure on teams,” Nuneviller said. “We’re a good defensive team, and we’ve got some girls who can kill the ball, so with that, even when we’re not getting aces, it gives us a lot of opportunities to get out-of-system plays coming at us, which gives us opportunities to be in system and score while we’re serving.”

Junior middle blocker Dominique Vadeboncoeur had five kills and three total blocks for Marina. Junior outside hitter Jalissa Costa had five kills and three aces, and senior opposite Katelyn Hooker had five kills and two aces. Senior outside hitter Maci Hendry added four kills and two aces, and sophomore middle blocker Lyndsey Wessel had two kills and two blocks. Senior outside hitter Chase Bergner and junior libero Dana Tran added two aces apiece.

“I think we had a lot of momentum from them,” Vadeboncoeur said in looking back on the championship run by the Marina boys’ volleyball team in the spring. “We watched all the games, so I think we were ready to come fighting.”

The Marina girls' volleyball team celebrates a point against Pacifica during a nonleague match on Wednesday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

In stringing together wins early in the season, the Vikings finished as the runner-up in the Portola Tournament.

“I think we’re doing good so far,” Vadeboncoeur said. “I think we’ll keep sailing smooth. I think we’ll do good.”

Zoe Hutchinson contributed 11 assists and three total blocks for Pacifica. Jessica Pearce added five kills and 2½ blocks, and Nicolette Alameida and Kendal Cathey each had two kills.

Marina's fans celebrate during a game against Pacifica on Wednesday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

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