The Fremont Firebirds got off the schneid Wednesday night on the team’s home court. Fremont earned its first win in over a month by defeating Santa Clara 25-23, 25-22, 19-25, 25-19. The victory snapped a 13-game losing streak, one that included a three sets to none loss against the Bruins.
Fremont managed to get its revenge in this rematch in large part due to some impressive kills in the middle from Noa Halevy and defensive digs from Zoe Shie. After the final point fell in, the cheers were noticeably loud as the relief of finally getting a win was palpable throughout the gym.
“We communicated a lot better than we have in the past,” noted Halevy on the streak-ending victory. “I’m so happy we got to cheer at the end.”
“Super excited that they got the win,” chimed Head Coach Michelle Wagner. “They have been really working hard since I took over the program and trying to change a lot of things. It’s really great to see that kind of come to fruition. Really happy for them to experience what winning feels like. They deserve it.”
A well-deserved win came via a hotly-contested match. The opening set was back and forth. Halevy’s big kill in the middle on a knockdown at the net put Fremont up 23-20. At that point, it looked as if Fremont would be able to close out the set without any more trouble.
Santa Clara would not go down without a fight. Star sophomore Ninya Udinoor came up with a ridiculous dig to keep a sequence alive before finishing it off with a perfectly-placed kill to pull the Bruins within 23-22. Had she missed, the score would have been 24-21 Fremont.
Udinoor then backed up her kill with an ace from the service line to tie things up at 23-23. A couple of Bruins’ mistakes would then lead to Fremont winning the set, but Udinoor’s efforts nearly stole the set for Santa Clara.
“I’m so excited to have her for two more years,” beamed Bruins Head Coach Martina Carrillo. “I love having her, she’s so versatile. She’s kind of my utility player, and she has that mindset where she will play to the best of her ability no matter where she is on the court.”
Udinoor and fellow sophomore Naomi Hunt were the standouts for the Bruins in the loss. Having beaten Fremont earlier in the season, the team was certainly hoping for a better outcome.
“We were missing a couple players today so we had to try a few things. For example, I was setting today, and I usually don’t,” acknowledged Udinoor. “We still kept our energy up throughout the game though and we did really well in that third set, but it just wasn’t enough.”
The Bruins will look to get back on track in the team’s final three games of the season against Saratoga on Oct. 16, and then Lynbrook on the 18th and 25th.
Fremont, meanwhile, will look to make it two in a row on Oct. 16 when the Firebirds take on Homestead. The Firebirds will close out the season with matches against Wilcox and Milpitas on the 18th and 23rd.