On Thursday, Nov. 13, the Yosemite High School (15-13, 7-3) girls volleyball season came to an end during a three set match against the San Joaquin Memorial Panthers (23-8, 7-3).
The Badgers, who were seeded 7 in the CIF Central Section D-III playoff brackets, traveled to Fresno to take on the #2 ranked Panthers.
In front of a boisterous Panther crowd the lady Badgers took advantage early on jumping out to a 10-4 lead behind the solid play of senior Taylor Burrall and junior Katie Gould. Yosemite kept the momentum going taking a 20-14 lead, but following a timely Panther timeout, San Joaquin Memorial went on a 11-2 run taking the first set 25-22.
Matched up against a superior Panthers team Yosemite showed adversity throughout the entire night, but the Badgers were never able to recover mentally from the devastating first set loss and dropped the second game 25-11. In the third game the Badgers held their own making the game close all the way until the end. Despite their determination the Badgers fell in their third set 25-23 officially ending their season and a run at the Central Section title.
The Badgers finished the year 15-13 with a 7-3 record in league, falling one win short of Sierra for the league title. Their record earned them a home playoff game against Sunnyside, of Fresno, Monday, Nov. 13. but after defeating the Wildcats the Badgers were unable to overcome the depth and skill of a Panthers team which has made playoffs the past three years.
First year head coach Michelle Chenowith said she was proud of her players for showing the mental and physical toughness necessary to compete in the highly competitive D-III Central Section.
“It has been a great year,” Chenowith said. “The girls really dedicated themselves to working hard and improving. It's a coach's dream situation that she has a group of dedicated, hard working, fun loving and talented girls to work with and mold into awesome volleyball players.”
Next year the team will surely miss the experience a leadership abilities of four graduating seniors but with five returning seniors the team will look to build on this year’s success and regain the title of North Sequoia League Champions in 2015.