The Yosemite volleyball team (33-5, 9-1 NSL), the No. 3 seed in the CIF D-III North Region of the state playoffs, beat the No. 14 seed, the Buhach Coloney Thunder of Atwater (17-14, 9-3 CCC) in three sets Wednesday.
Yosemite plays at home in the second round at 6 p.m. Saturday against the No. 11 seed Sonora, who upended the No. 6 seed, Head-Royce of Oakland, 3-1.
It the first set against the Thunder, Yosemite fell behind 16-13, before going on an 9-2 run to pull ahead 22-18, before closing the set at 25-19.
Although never behind in the second set, Buhach, coached by Andy Hill, kept in reach of the Badgers, before Yosemite won 25-20.
The third set was the longest set both teams had been in all season, with the Badgers hanging on for a 29-27 win. At 24-24, the score was tied three more times before Yosemite put two points together for the win and the chance to play again on Saturday. About 600, mostly Yosemite fans, witnessed one of the most exciting and evenly-matched games of the season.
For Yosemite, Sayda Taylor had another big night with 8 kills, 7 digs, 5 blocked shots, and 2 ace serves. Karee Smith had 12 kills, followed by Savannah Bohna and Chloe Duke with 6 and 5.
Tiffany Cacy and Jordyn Jackson recorded 14 and 12 had 14 assists. Rachel Loveland added 3 blocks and 2 kills.
The Badger’s back court had another outstanding game.
For Buhach Coloney, sophomore Miranda Baptista had a triple-triple, something no other player accomplished against Yosemite this season, with 14 assist, 13 kills and 11 digs.
Junior Cameron Gray had a double-double with 12 kills and 11 digs. Freshman Maggie Seifert had 10 digs, 7 kills, 2 aces and 1 block, and junior Mallory Pazin contributed 21 assists, 8 digs and 1 block. Junior Leanne Mello had 17 assists.
If the Badgers win Saturday, the team will advance to the Regional Semifinals at 7 p.m. on Nov. 21, most likely against the No. 2 seed, Los Gatos. Because of its seed, Los Gatos would get the home court advantage.