The Yosemite High volleyball team (26-9, 7-1 NSL) remained tied with Sierra (27-3, 7-1) for first place in the North Sequoia League game with home wins over Washington Union (7-19, 0-7 NSL) and Liberty (24-8, 5-3) last week.
Yosemite’s last two league games are on the road this week, including Tuesday at Chowchilla (scores not available at press time), and Oct. 5 for a showdown with the Sierra Chieftains at Tollhouse.
Sierra beat Yosemite in round one of league play at Yosemite on Oct. 20. Sierra’s lone league loss was to Liberty. With Yosemite and Sierra expected to win their Tuesday games, tonight’s game between the Badgers and Chieftains will decide the league title.
Sierra is ranked No. 14 in the state in D-IV, and No. 1 in the Central Section in D-IV by Maxpreps.com.
The Badgers are ranked No. 3 in the Central Section for D-III teams.
Yosemite Senior Kailei Gould said Sierra will see a different Badger team than they saw in the first game.
“We had probably our worst game of the season against Sierra the first time we played,” Gould said. “We’re going to play with a lot of passion to win Thursday.”
Yosemite senior Shelby Biscaglio felt the team was affected by the large and loud crowd Sierra brought to the Yosemite gym.
“I think we sort of let them get in our heads and it affected the way we played,” Biscaglio said. “We hope to have a large Yosemite crowd go to Sierra to motivate us to play our ‘A’ game Thursday.”
“We are looking forward to playing Sierra again to try to redeem ourselves,” Coach Michele Chenowith said. “Our first round match was less than I expected from my team and less than they expected from themselves. Sierra is a good team and defeating them will be difficult. It will require us to play at a level much better than we did in the first game with them. My team has the potential to defeat Sierra, they just have to come play like I know they can.”
Win or lose, both teams will advance to the CIF Central Section play-offs - Sierra in D-IV and Yosemite in D-III. Yosemite is the only team in the NSL that is a D-III team. The seedings for the playoffs will be announced Nov. 6. Both Sierra and Yosemite are expected to receive round-one games at home.
The Yosemite-Sierra JV game is at 5 p.m., with the varsity playing at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Yosemite over Liberty and Union 3-0
On Oct. 27, the Badgers defeated Liberty in three sets (25-22, 25-17, 27-25).
Sophomore Tiffany Cacy had her best game of the year with 19 assists on offense, and 17 point-saving digs on defense.
Senior Dainya DeBock, and sophomore Savannah Bohna both had eight kill shots with Kailei Gould adding seven to go with her 20 digs. DeBock also had eight blocked shots.
Samantha Rockey added 11 assists, Rachel Loveland had two ace serves, four kills, and three blocks, and Karee Smith had four blocks.
The Badgers beat Union on Oct. 29 (25-11, 25-14, 25-19).
Bohna again had eight kill shots (and two ace serves) on the night, with five kills (and two blocks) from Smith and four each from Gould and Siena Oswald. Gould also had two ace serves. DeBock added four blocks and three kills and Loveland had four blocks.
Helping the offense was Cacy and Rockey with 15 and 14 assists, respectively. Rockey also had two ace serves.
JV looking for title
The Badger JV team, undefeated in league play, hopes to wrap up the league title with a win over Sierra Thursday.
The team, coached by Tricia Ruiz, beat Washington Union (25-15, 18-25, 15-8) and Liberty (25-14, 25-20) last week.
Against Union, Chloe Duke had a high seven kills in the game, and Holly Crosson had a service ace, and four digs.
Against Liberty, Sayda Taylor recorded nine kills, and Kelsie Wasem had four.
“Our team has grown greatly throughout the season,” Ruiz said. “We have been so much more consistent in our play and it’s nice to see the girls become a confident team.”