The Minarets Mustangs Volleyball team will have to wait till next year to add to their ring collection. The Mustangs lost to Dos Palos in front of a supportive home court crowd Nov. 13 in their bid for another Sectional Title. Moving up to play D-VI, Minarets ran into a buzz saw by the name of Madison Pierce. The 6-foot-4 senior showed why she received a full-ride scholarship from NCAA D-II Fresno Pacific University to play for the Sun Birds next year.
The Mustangs played Pierce and the Bronco’s tough in the five game match in which the Dos Palos won the first two games behind the fierce play of Pierce at the net, 25-18, 27-25. Down two games to none coach. Coach Jessica Carter rallied her team and rolled off two wins of their own, 25-22, 25-17.
Time and time again the Mustangs withstood jaw-dropping hits from Pierce. Mustang seniors Hali and Sami Grant had multiple point saving digs as well as junior Carlee Boomer. Joelle Hoag’s backhand hits dropped untouched for much needed points to keep the Bronco’s at bay in the fourth game.
Each and every team member contributed to the squads comeback from the brink of elimination. Freshman Julie Castleman showed why Carter brought her up to varsity with impressive serves that kept the Mustangs alive. Early in the fifth game, Junior Patricia Thomasian made several digs and sophomore Mia Corippo made timely kills to keep Minarets in contention.
In the end, Pierce and the Bronco’s would wear down the Mustangs and go on to win the fifth and deciding game, 15-5.
“This match was tough, but we battled,” Coach Carter said after the match. “That fifth set is always the hardest but I am very proud of what we were able to accomplish this season. We moved up a division and held our own, yes, Pierce is a great player, but we rose to the occasion and tried to stop her to the best of our ability. I have loved every minute of this year and I am already counting the days until next season.”