Dominate the Court


By Liv Durr

It’s been 5 long sets. The score is 18-17. The lady knights with a one point lead, in need of another. That one point stands between them and making history. The senior Lady Knights have yet to ever beat Torrey Pines. Then it happened. Torrey Pines makes an error and the point is called to the Lady Knights. The players roar in victory. In addition to beating Torrey Pines, the seniors on the San Marcos Knights Varsity Volleyball team are accomplishing more this year than they have in their past four years at San Marcos. “I feel like our team has grown a lot over the years. We’ve obviously won a D1 championship in 2019, that was just so iconic, we are going for an open championship this year,” Chloe Naranchich, a senior, said.

 Over the years, the seniors have viewed their school as the underdogs of the volleyball world, and are finally creating some waves in the community. “I’d say the game we won against Cathedral was my favorite win so far. That was honestly the best win for us, because that was the first time we’ve ever played them. It was just such a good performance for us and we had been waiting for that feeling and it was early on in the season.”  Ensley Alden, the senior team captain, said. The team played against Cathedral Catholic High School on Friday, August 27, in a four set game. “Going into it we didn’t expect to win,” Chloe Narancich said. “That kind of proved to us that the season was gonna be something big and [it] set the tone for the season I think for us,” she said. 

The bar was raised and as the season continued the expectations were exceeded. The team worked hard in practice as the league approached, seeing that the goal was to do well in their league. “My goal as a freshman was to win a league championship at San Marcos,” Olivia Narancich said. “Because winning a league championship really just helped prove what everything you’ve done as a program and everything you’ve worked for,” Olivia said. The team did just that, ending their season as undefeated league champions with a 10-0 record.

To the seniors, the passion and drive is something they hold dear; but the environment the players created over their 4 years had to be worked for. “Something that I take pride in on this team is our team chemistry. And our team culture. And as freshmen when we came in, the team culture was definitely something that needed to be worked on a lot. We had a lot of talent on our team. We had really good volleyball but we just couldn’t figure out how to get to that higher level I think,” Olivia Narancich said. The trust and chemistry they’ve carefully curated over the years is flourishing, being a major factor in their successful season. 

The players themselves have made adjustments on and off the court in order to ensure success this year, “I think a lot of it is confidence. And if you ask anyone who’s watched me play over the years they can just tell you that just the way I even stand on the court, the way I hold myself is insanely different. I just have a whole different presence. Yeah I think a lot of it is just confidence, and trust in my teammates that helped us get to that,” Olivia Narancich said.

The captains and their team are now heading into CIF in the open division. All the perseverance and hard work during games, practices, and tournaments is paying off. While the seniors are leaving after growing up on the San Marcos team, they are heading off to start a new chapter of their athletic careers. All senior captains have committed to universities in and out of state. Olivia Narancich committed to California State University Long Beach for beach volleyball and indoor, Chloe Narancich committed to The University of Utah to play beach volleyball, and Ensley Alden committed to University of California Los Angeles to play beach volleyball. These players have made this program into what it is today and they hope to leave some history behind. “Being the league champs in our area and setting the tone kind of. Cause we are going to be in the same league next year. And I want the future team to understand that like we can continue to win league. That can be the standard,” Alden said. The seniors are feeling so many emotions heading into the CIF games, but they are focused and ready to dominate. “I know there are more wins to come, I feel some more big wins coming,” Alden said.