Both Yosemite and Minarets volleyball teams advanced to the play off semi-finals of the CIF Central Section championship tournament.
Yosemite (34-4, 9-1 NSL champs), the No. 3 seed in D-III, upended No. 6 Woodlake Tigers (17-16, 8-4 ESL) at home Thursday night (25-20, 20-25, 25-9, 25-19).
The Badgers travel to No. 2 Mission Oak High (28-7) in Tulare for the 6:30 p.m. semi-final game. Mission Oak defeated No. 7 Arvin Tuesday 25-18, 25-12, 25-16.
The Badgers lost a close 2-1 match to Mission Oak early in the season and it was the Hawks that beat Yosemite last year in the semi-finals round.
Mission Oak’s offense is lead by junior Christa Pilgrim, sophomore Hazel Martinez and junior Samantha who have 167, 138 and 134 kills respectively on the season.
On defense, two seniors, Alyssa Parkinson and Aubrey Cardoza have 365 and 301 digs on the season.
The winner of the Yosemite-Mission Oak game is expected to play No. 1 Bakersfield Christian (32-1) for the section title at 3 p.m., Nov. 12, at West Hills Community College in Lemoore. Bakersfield Christian beat No. 9 Reedley in three sets Thursday and play No. 4 Hanford West (24-11) Tuesday.
After being tied at 17 in the first set, the Badgers slowly pulled away for the 25-20 win. Woodlake won the second set by the identical, 25-20 after the Badgers fell behind 6-2 at the start of the game.
Yosemite came to life in the third set getting off to a 10-3 lead - building to a 15-7 lead. Yosemite went on an eight point run to win the game 25-9.
Tiffany Cacy opened the fourth set for Yosemite with 10 straight service points. What looked like a quick win over Woodlake, and building the lead to 21-11, Woodlake fought back with seven straight points to make the score 21-18. Yosemite then outscored the Tigers 4-1 to end the game at 25-19.
The Badgers, without a senior on the team, was led on offense Thursday by Savannah Bohna and Sayda Taylor who each had 12 kill shots on the night. Karee Smith and Siena Oswald recorded seven and six kills.
Hannah Hurtado lead the team on defense with 12 digs and Bohna had nine. Smith had five blocked shots.
Cacy recorded 18 assists and three ace serves. Cacy gave the Badgers a big lead in the fourth set by opening the game with 10 straight service points.
Woodlake was led by Callie Vincent and Lauren Little with 16 and 12 kills. Vincent also had 20 digs, while Ayanna Garcia, Ileana Suastegui, Shea Bartlett and Christina Sherwood recorded 19, 18, 15 and 11 digs respectively. Bartlett recorded 28 assists and Jocelyn Sanchez contributed five kills, five blocks and an assist.
Tigers Coach Yvette Garcia said her team’s goal against Yosemite was to compete and play with heart, goals she felt were accomplished.
“With the season behind us, we are able to walk away from this game with no regrets,” Garcia said. “All our hard work paid off getting us into the playoffs and I could not be more proud of the entire squad. Yosemite was a better team than us tonight, but I am already looking forward to making it further in playoffs next year.”
Woodlake senior Ayanna Garcia said she was proud of all her teammates for giving their all and pulling out of a big hole in the fourth set.
“The younger players on this team will take what they learned from our amazing season and what they learned tonight and will build on that for next season,” Ayanna said.
“My team likes to rise to the occasion so I’m hoping we are at our best when we play them Tuesday night,” Head Coach Michele Chenowith said. “We will have to be mentally tough and have that killer instinct to beat them. My team is made up of a bunch of truly sweet girls, so I’m trying to get them to have a little more edge. We are looking forward to playing them again so we can prove we can win it just like we did when we beat Sierra to win league.”
Badger Alli Ruiz said the whole team is excited about the Mission Oak game. “We know they will be tough, but we are up for the challenge.”
After 38 games, Taylor leads the Badgers with 140 kills, followed by Bohna (128), Smith (101) and Oswald (98).
Smith leads the team in blocked shots (168) with Taylor a close second (154) and Rachel Loveland third (113).
Hurtado has team high digs (209) followed by Cacy (164), Oswald (149), Ruiz (148), Bohna (145) and Bailey Hullender (113).
Mustangs play Hawks Tuesday
No. 4 Minarets (21-8, 10-0 WSL) will play No.1 seed Liberty (30-3, 7-3 NSL) in the D-IV semi-finals round Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Liberty after beating No. 5 Chowchilla (13-10) Thursday night 26-24, 25-14, 25-20.
The winner of that game will play the winner of the No. 2 Sierra (26-4, 8-2 NSL) and No. 3 Taft (27-5) for the section title at 12:30 p.m., Nov. 12 at West Hills Community College.