Senior Tiya Kamba-Griffin prepares to serve.
Senior Tiya Kamba-Griffin serves behind a wall of Devil teammates.
Sophomore Emily Wells remains focused despite the full gym.
The rival teams prepare for a point.
Senior Lauren Wilcox exchanges high fives with the bench.
The Blue Devil student section explodes after a kill.
Junior Bailee Nicolet sets the ball for the hitters.
The Devil bench, which was almost as involved in the game as the players on the court, stands in support.
Outside hitter Emma Thompson, one of the team's two sophomores, keeps her eyes on the ball.
Photos: Will Ziegler and Adam Dapkewicz
By Annie Mitchell,
Parents wandering the Davis High campus on Sept. 27 for Back-to-School Night probably heard the ear-piercing screams.
These came from the small gym, where a hyped crowd of fans cheered for a Tiya Kamba-Griffin kill that split the St. Francis blockers. The women’s varsity volleyball team served their supporters a three-course gourmet meal of individual achievements, despite losing in three sets to St. Francis.
Seniors Kamba-Griffin, Lauren Wilcox and Emma Jordan joined junior Lindsey Su and sophomore Emily Wells to slam multiple kills against the Troubadours in the first set, which was easily the closest. The Devils led for the majority of the set, but it ended 25-21 to their rivals.
“Getting a kill is one of the best feelings ever, especially in a big game like that,” Wilcox said. “A good pass from the back row, a good set and then swinging away to get a big kill is so satisfying […] I love getting a kill or block and then hearing the student section behind us cheering and making everyone that much more excited.”
In the third set, which Davis lost 16-25, the smack of Wilcox’s hand against the ball was the only sound until the crowd erupted for the kill.
Senior Maraia Tuqiri had the only Devil ace of the night in the first set and also made a diving dig that set the crowd off like a bomb.
After a sprint of a second set, which St. Francis took 25-9, the third set was a marathon that seemed to never end.
Wells and Kamba-Griffin each had a kill that the up official called back, prompting deafening boos from the student section. Senior libero Jessie Siu, who led Davis in digs, had six tough digs in the last set that unexpectedly prolonged points that seemed to be over.
“I wasn’t really thinking when I made them, I just kind of lasered in on my hitters and I tried to set myself up in the best position possible to get them,” Siu said. “I was just thinking I wanted to give it a good effort and get them up, but they did feel amazing.”
Both Siu and Wilcox emphasized the importance of this game for the seniors on the team.
“We put so much heart into this game and emotions were running high,” Wilcox said. “We all really wanted to win, especially the seniors. There are 10 seniors on our team and this is probably the last time we’ll play SF and we were so hungry to win that game.”
Siu said the players all wrote “Play With Heart” on their wrists before the game.
“I think we really went out and played with some grit,” Siu said. “It’s always exciting playing St. Francis as it’s our biggest home game and it was super special for all of our seniors because we’ve been together for so long.”