The Yosemite High volleyball team (34-4, 9-1 NSL champs), the No. 3 seed in D-III, beat No. 6 Woodlake High (17-16, 8-4 ESL) at home Nov. 3 to advance to the semifinals of the CIF Central Section playoffs against No. 2 seed Mission Oak (28-7).
It was Mission Oak that knocked Yosemite out of the playoffs last season. The semi-finals game was played Tuesday - see sierrastar.com for results. Mission Oak defeated No. 7 Arvin Nov. 3 (25-18, 25-12, 25-16) to advance to the game with the Badgers.
Yosemite beat the Woodlake Tigers 25-20, 20-25, 25-9, 25-19.
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 last Thursday and played 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 in the first set against Woodlake. Woodlake won the second set by the same score, 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, and 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, 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 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 respectively.
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.
Prior to the Mission Oak game, Taylor leads the Badgers on the season 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).