After being beat Saturday by the Mission Oak Hawks (33-8, 10-0 East Yosemite League) in four sets for the CIF Central Section D-III title, Yosemite (32-5, 9-1 North Sequoia League title) has received the No. 3 seed in the 16-team Northern Region of the state tournament and will host the No. 14 seed Buhach Colony Thunder (17-13, 9-3) of Atwater Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m., in the Harry S. Baker Gymnasium.
The Buhach Colony team is made up of 2 seniors, 7 juniors, 2 sophomores and 1 freshman. Sophomore Miranda Baptista leads the team with 311 kills on the season - 5-foot-10 junior Morgan Johnson leads in blocked shots with 61 and senior Jackie Avalos has recorded 288 digs to date during the 30-game season.
Yosemite will counter with junior Sayda Taylor who has 239 kills and 256 blocked shots, and Siena Oswald with 273 digs to date during the Badger’s 37-game season.
The winner of the game will play the winner of Wednesday’s game between the No. 6 seed Head-Royce Jayhawks of Oakland (26-7, 12-0) and the No. 11 seed Sonora (24-8, 12-0), at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18, in round II. If Yosemite wins its game against Buhach Colony, the Badgers would keep home-court advantage. The winner of that game would play in the Nov. 21 Regional Semifinals.
The top four teams from the North and South Regions will play in the Regional Finals on Nov. 25 to determine the best team in each region. Those two teams will play for CIF State D-III Championship on Dec. 2.
Mission Oak received the No. 5 seed in the 16-team Southern Region and will open the tournament at home Wednesday against the No. 12 seed El Camino Real.
Mission Oak defeats Yosemite for Central Section D-III title
The old saying ‘third time’s the charm,’ held true for the Mission Oak Hawks (33-8, 10-0 East Yosemite League) of Tulare Saturday, beating Yosemite (32-5, 9-1 NSL) 3-1 for the CIF Central Section D-III Volleyball Championship, after being beaten the previous two years in the title game by Bakersfield Christian.
Playing at the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, the No. 1 seed Badgers opened the first set with a 6-1 lead but soon found themselves behind 17-9 after the No. 2 seed Hawks went on a 16-3 run. The Hawks took the first set 25-21.
Yosemite scored the first point in the second set, but that was the last time they would be ahead in the set, being down as much as 6 points (17-11). The Badger made a run at the Hawks closing the gap to just one point, 22-21, before the Hawks closed out the set at 25-22.
The Badgers came back to win the third set 25-18, and it looked like the momentum of the game was swinging the Badger’s way, as the team got off to a 3-0 lead in the fourth set. The score was tied eight times during the set, but with the score at 16-16, Mission Oak went on a 5-0 run (21-16), and won the set 25-19, giving Coach Casey Norman and the Hawks its first section volleyball title.
“Our seniors wanted this bad this year,” Norman said after the game. “Tonight you saw a team of talented and hungry girls with a lot of internal drive that triggered the beast in them.”
It was Mission Oak that knocked Yosemite out of the play-offs last year with a win in the semi-finals round.
For Yosemite, Sayda Taylor had a double-double on the night with 15 kills and 13 digs. Savannah Bohna and Karee Smith contributed 12 and 8 kills.
Siena Oswald did all she could to stop the Hawks with 28 point-saving digs to go with her 4 kills.
Jordyn Jackson and Samantha Rockey helped Yosemite’s offensive effort with 18 and 16 assists respectively.
Mission Oak got to the championship game by beating the No. 3 seed Minarets in the semi-finals, and Yosemite advanced after beating rival, and No. 5 seed Sierra.
Both Mission Oak and Yosemite will move onto the CIF D-III state tournament. Seedings and brackets will be announced Sunday.
After the game Yosemite Coach Michele Chenowith said her team will re-group and is looking forward to the opportunity to play in the state tournament.