Badgers take early volleyball league lead

The Yosemite High girls volleyball team (23-8, 2-0 NSL) opened North Sequoia League play last week with wins over Liberty - Madera Ranchos (20-6, 1-1) - and Kerman (15-5, 0-2).

The team, ranked No. 2 in the Central Section D-III by The Fresno Bee, traveled to Madera Ranchos Oct. 8, for an important match against Liberty, last year’s NSL champions. Sierra is undefeated (20-0, 2-0 NSL) and ranked No. 1 in the Central Section in D-IV.

In a very competitive five set match-up, Yosemite came home with the win putting them atop the early league standings at 2-0.

Yosemite lost the first set 25-16, but bounced back to win the second set 25-18. Liberty came back to win the third set 26-24, with the Badgers fighting back to tie the match by winning the fourth set 28-26. Yosemite won the fifth and game-deciding set 15-12.

On the night, setter Tiffany Cacy had 27 assists, while Savannah Bohna led the team at 23 kill shots.

Defensive specialists Kailei Gould and Hannah Hurtado had 36 and 28 digs on the night respectively.

Dainya Debock added six kills and four blocks, with Karee Smith contributing four blocks, and five kill shots.

Prior to the Liberty game, the Badgers beat Kerman in three straight sets Oct. 6 at home (25-18, 25-17, 25-18)

Gould lead the team with six kill shots, while Smith and Debock added four kills each.

Hurtado helped the team with 14 digs, and Cacy recorded 13 assists.

“Last week was a good week for us,” coach Michele Chenowith said. “We played two very tough teams and came out victorious. Our match against Liberty was extremely close. We had to hold them off in the fourth game when they had match point. I am pleased with how the team plays under pressure. We have been in numerous close matches and every time the team is composed and aggressive.”

Chenowith said every team in the NSL is challenging.

“We will have to play at our best every match if we want to win league,” Chenowith said.

JV team also off to good start

And like the varsity team, the Badger JV team has also started league play with wins against Kerman and Liberty.

According to coach Tricia Ruiz, MoniqueAdes and Chloe Duke led the team for the opening week of league play with 14 and 13 kills, respectively.

Team captain and setter Jordan Jackson had 35 assists and five service aces.

“It’s nice to see the growth the team has made this season,” Ruiz said. “Our players are really starting to mesh and playing like a team.”

The team played at Washington Union Tuesday, and host Chowchilla Oct. 15. Varsity game 6 p.m. - JV 5 p.m.