After losing the first set 25-18, Yosemite (31-4, 9-1 NSL), the No. 1 seed in the Central Section D-III volleyball playoffs, won the next three (25-18, 25-19, 25-14) at home last night against the No. 16 seed Madera South (11-26).
Yosemite did not play at the level the home crowd is accustomed to seeing, making a lot of unforced errors, uncharacteristic of the team.
“Yosemite didn’t expect us to come out as strong as we did,” Madera South Coach Travis McEowen said after the match. “They were in shock after the first set, but they made some adjustments and after pretty close sets 2 and 3, really took it to us in the last set. We’ve improved a lot over the past couple weeks. I’m very proud of our team for fighting hard to the end against a very good Yosemite team.”
Madera junior Aleecia Rosel was the game leader in kills, 14, and point-saving digs, 19.
“We came into this game with a lot of confidence ,” Rosel said. “We got aggressive, and then Yosemite got aggressive. We pushed and they pushed back. We’ve worked hard the past couple weeks, and I’m proud of my team. I wish Yosemite good luck in the remainder of the playoffs.
Yosemite senior, and recently crowned Homecoming Queen, Karee Smith, said the lesson learned last night was to never underestimate a team just because they easily beat them earlier in the season.
“We have to come out strong in our next game Tuesday and just because they are the No. 9 seed, we can’t underestimate them. Madera South played some amazing defense tonight,” Smith said.
Against Madera South, Smith and Sayda Taylor recorded 12 kills each, with Savannah Bohna and Rachel Loveland contributing 12 and 6 respectively. Taylor also had 18 digs and 3 blocked shots.
The Badgers host the No. 9 seed Woodlake (18-14) in the playoff quarter finals at 6:30 p.m., Nov. 7. A win would advance Yosemite to the semi finals at home, 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 9.
Tiffany Cacy had 22 assists and 14 digs, Samantha Rockey added 16 assists, and Siena Oswald had 14 good receives on serves.
The D-III championship game will be held at the College of Sequoias in Visalia on Saturday, Nov. 11. Time still to be announced.
Minarets and Sierra advance
Both No. 3 Minarets (27-7, 10-0 WSL), and No. 5 Sierra (15-11, 6-4 NSL) will play at home Tuesday in the quarter finals, after defeating No. 14 Dinuba, and No. 12 Edison.
Minarets will host No. 6 San Joaquin Memorial (16-15), and Sierra will take on No. 4 Hanford West (25-11).
Tuesday’s game scores can be seen at www.sierrastar.com.
For complete details, see the Nov. 9 edition of the Sierra Star.