In a match of rivals that turned out to be everything it was hyped up to be, the Yosemite High girls volleyball team (6-4) beat Minarets (2-2) Sept. 9 in five sets (25-20, 19-25, 25-18, 18-25, 16-14).
After splitting the first two games, Yosemite won the third going away, 25-18, and then Minarets tied the match at two games each by winning the fourth set 25-18.
The Badgers won the deciding fifth game, 16-14.
There was a five-minute break in the action to restore order after tempers flared in the bleachers between zealous fans of each school.
For Yosemite, senior Dainya DeBock had 12 kill shots and eight blocked shots, and sophomore Savannah Bohna had 10 kills. Sophomore Karee Smith added seven kills and five blocked shots, while senior Kailei Gould had 25 digs, and five kills.
“These girls played great tonight,” Yosemite Coach Michele Chenowith said after the game. “This is a special team. They push each other to be better in a positive way. No one gets upset at mistakes teammates make.”
Chenowith added that her team has multiple strong offensive players so if one player can’t get the ball down, another steps up.
“But the strength of this team’s defense is what kept us in this match,” Chenowith said.
For the Mustangs, Sami Grant had 43 kills on the night, with Carlee Boomer adding 15, and Halie Grant 10. Patricia Thomasian led all players with 39 digs, while Holly Walsh and Makinley Wright recorded 18 and 17 assists respectively.
The Yosemite game was the second loss of the week for the Mustangs, as they fell to the undefeated Sierra High Chieftains on Sept. 8. Sierra, coached by Amanda Lopez, swept the Mustangs in three close games (25-23, 26-24, 25-19).
Minarets recorded 23 kills in the match, with senior Carlee Boomer leading with eight. Sierra recorded 34 kills.
Minarets had eight aces on the match as Makinely Wright led the team with three. Boomer and sophomore Julie Castleman had two each. Patricia Thomasian had 18 digs in the match with Boomer recording 12.
“We have to overcome our own mistakes as the season progress ... we can play with anyone if we communicate and limit our mistakes,” Minarets Coach Jessica Carter said.
League play opens in two weeks with the Red Cats of Fowler expected to challenge the Mustangs for the league title.
Prior to the game at Minarets, the Badgers competed in a 32-team tournament in Sacramento, going 3-3, and playing a couple D-I schools.
The Badgers play in the Madera High Tournament this weekend.
Minarets will travel to Liberty-Madera Ranchos today (Thursday) for a 6 p.m. contest.