Yosemite High volleyball (30-4, 9-1 NSL) coach Michele Chenowith couldn’t have asked for a better birthday present than the one she got from her team last Thursday night in Tollhouse - a three set sweep of Sierra (25-23, 25-23, 25-17), giving Chenowith and the Lady Badgers the North Sequoia League Championship, and the No. 1 seed in the CIF Central Section D-3 playoffs.
When the Chieftains rolled into Oakhurst with its then 8-8 record on Oct. 10, Yosemite was caught asleep at the wheel, losing its only league game of the season to the Chieftains in four sets. Yosemite players vowed it would not happen a second time - and it didn’t.
“We came in here tonight with a lot of positive energy, and we played hard from the start of the game and stayed strong till we scored the last point in the third set,” senior Savannah Bohna said. “We had a lot of fun out there in the last league game for us seniors. We’re all excited for the playoffs and will work hard to get father than we did last season, in what has already been a great season for us. We hope to see a huge crowd in our gym this coming Thursday.”
Sayda Taylor, Karee Smith, Siena Oswald, Chloe Duke and Bohna had 11, 10, 6, 4, and 4 kills respectively in the thee sets. Tiffany Cacy recorded 14 digs and 9 assists, and Jordyn Jackson added 12 assists.
Chenowith, who has taught math at Yosemite for 24 years, returned to coaching volleyball in 2015 after taking three years off while serving at the school’s athletic director.
Her teams have won outright or have shared the NSL or CSL league titles seven times, and her Lady Badgers won the CIF Central Section D-III title in 1997, 2000, and 2001. This year’s team has a good chance of getting to the D-III title game on Nov. 11.
Since the 1978-’79 season, the Badgers have won 17 league titles, 8 co-titles, and 8 CIF Central Section Championships. Over the past three seasons, the team’s win-loss record is 94-20.
In the 34 game season, Cacy leads the team in ace serves with 43 (Oswald has 35, and Samantha Rockey 31). Sayda Taylor leads in blocked shots with 59 (Rachel Loveland has 49, and Smith 48). Oswald leads in digs with 191 (Cacy 188, and Taylor 187).
Taylor also leads the team in kill shots with 231, with Smith contributing 206 and Bohna with 160. Cacy has provided her teammates with 863 good sets, followed by Jackson with 490 and Rockey with 403.
No. 1 Ranking
The Badgers have received the No. 1 seed in the 16-team CIF Central Section D-3 playoff tournament that opens with eight first round games across the Valley at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 2.
Yosemite hosts the No. 16 Madera South Stallions (11-25, 1-9), who they beat in late August (25-15, 25-13, 25-14), and Minarets (26-7, 10-0 West Sequoia League) plays at home against No. 14 Dinuba (33-17, 2-8).
Sierra (14-11, 6-4 NSL), with the No. 5 ranking, will host No. 12 Edison (6-13, 3-4).
Quarter final games will be played on Nov. 7 - semi final games on Nov. 9 - and the championship game Nov. 11.
The Badgers were seeded No. 3 last seaon and lost in the semi-final game to Mission Oak of Tulare, who were the No. 2 seed.
JV team goes 10-0
Last Thursday was also a big night for the Yosemite JV team, beating Sierra (28-26, 25-18), and earlier in the week Chowchilla (27-25, 25-18), winning the NSL title after going 10-0.
In the Sierra game, Kaylee Smith had a perfect digging game with 7 perfect service passes and 7 digs. Kayla Truelove had 7 kills.
In the Chowchilla game, Amanda Truelove had 5 kills and Tehya Abrahams recorded 5 digs.
“I am so excited to finish another season 10-0,” Coach Tricia Ruiz said “What an honor it has been working with such wonderful and hard working team. I will miss these girls so much and want to thank them for taking us to a winning season.”
It was the third consecutive season Coach Tricia Ruiz and her teams have gone 10-0 in league play.
Central Section D-3 volleyball seedings
2. Mission Oak
4. Hanford West
13. East Bakersfield
16. Madera South