In what could be called a rebuilding year for the Yosemite High School varsity volleyball team (7-6) and head coach Sonja Mazaira. The Badgers are lead by 6-foot-1 team captain Dahila Lopez. Lopez is the only senior on the team and the only returning varsity player from last season's North Sequoia League co-champs.
In addition to Lopez, the team is made up of eight juniors and two sophomores.
The team was at home Sept. 13 losing to Madera South , 25-17, 25-12, 25-19.
Lopez had 8 kills, 5 digs and 1 blocked shot on the night with 6-foot-2 sophomore Taylor Burrall contributing 5 kills and 2 blocked shots. Lauren Ecklund had 18 saving digs during the match and Bayt recorded 9 digs.
The JV team was also defeated, 25-18, 25-12.
"We are young but I feel the players are committed to becoming stronger both individually and as a team," Mazaira said. "As with any year, players need that time to adjust to working with new players and becoming a group of six who work harmoniously on the court. I am optimistic with this year's team. Dahlia dominates the middle and Analiese Bayt and Lauren do a great job on the left sides. They are both strong and consistent outside hitters."
The teams's other middle hitter is Burrall.
"She is aggressive and seeks to shut down any attack the opponents send our way," Mazaira said.
Junior Page Peterson and sophomore Breeaunna Lewis are the team's setters.
Katie Sikora and Shelby Pisel are the team's defensive specialists.
Other members of the team are Stephanie Pardue, Sarah McKissack and Jensen Eames.
The team recently took second place in the Mammoth Volleyball Tournament losing to large school Whittier in the finals.
The team beat Tioga High (24-14, 25-12), Rosamond (25-16, 25-23), Bishop High twice (23-25, 25-19, 15-10 and 20-25, 25-12, 15-2) and Mammoth (25-14, 25-12). The Badgers split games with Cal City (22-25, 25-22) and Whittier (22-25, 27-25) before the championship game.
"The NSL will be very competitive this year," Mazaira said. "Sierra and chowchilla are consistant competitors in the league."
Mazaira is assisted by Michelle Chenowith. The freshman team coach is Carrie Fike and McKenzi Cox coaches the JV team.
Yosemite Volleyball schedule
Thurs, Sep. 20: At Madera High, 7 p.m.
Tues, Oct. 2 : At Kerman, 6 p.m.*
Thurs, Oct. 4: Liberty at Yosemite, 7 p.m.*
Tues, Oct. 9: Washington Union at Yosemite, 6 p.m.*
Thurs, Oct. 11: At Chowchilla, 6 p.m.*
Tues, Oct. 16: At Sierra, 6 p.m.*
Thurs, Oct. 18: Kerman at Yosemite, 6 p.m.*
Tues, Oct. 23: At Liberty, 6 p.m.*
Thurs, Oct. 25: At Washington Union, 6 p.m.*
Tues, Oct. 30: Chowchilla at Yosemite, 6 p.m.*
Thurs, Nov. 1: Sierra at Yosemite, 6 p.m.*
*North Sequoia League game - JV games are 1 hour prior to the varsity game