As expected, the Minarets Mustangs (26-4, 10-0 west Sequoia League), swept their way to another West Sequoia League volleyball title, going undefeated in league play last week with wins against the Riverdale Cowboys (8-14), and the Eagles of Fresno Christian (5-19).
It’s Coach Jessica Carter’s second league title in as many years, and the Mustangs fourth title in six years.
The Cowboys surprised the Mustangs winning the opening set 26-24 - but it was all Minarets as the team dominated Riverdale in the next three sets (25-13, 25-13, 25-9).
Senior Hallie Grant was coach’s “Player of the Match,” recording 12 kill shots, and three ace serves on the night. Carlee Boomer lead the team with four kills, while adding four ace serves of her own.
The Mustangs celebrated “Senior Night” Nov. 5, as they hosted Fresno Christian. The Eagles were all that remained between Carter’s squad and her first undefeated season in league play. The Mustangs honored six seniors that have played a large roll in Minarets success of the last four years.
Senior Thomasian played varsity as a freshman and was an impact player the moment she stepped on the court. A lock for all-league, Thomasian, who has a lot of athletic ability, has recorded 410 digs for the Mustangs this season, averaging 14 a game.
Team Captain Boomer, has taken her roll seriously, a leader on and off the court in three years playing varsity, and has played a large roll in championships past. This season, she has 357 digs, 57 ace serves, and 204 kills.
Sami and twin sister Hallie Grant have played at the varsity level since their sophomore year. Hallie has recorded 130 kills with a .331 hitting percentage this season, while Sami has 84 kills.
Holly Walsh has contributed 385 assists in her two years on varsit, and Hannah Cockerham has 104 digs.
At home Thursday
The Mustangs received the No. 2 seed in the D-IV CIF Central Section playoff bracket. The team could be face a familiar foe in the section’s championship game, as the Sierra Chieftains (29-3, 9-1 North Sequoia League) received the No. 1 seed. Sierra beat Minarets in three close sets (25-23, 26-24, 25-19) on Sept. 8.
That was just the second game of the season, and at the time the Mustangs were struggling with communication on the court. Those problems got worked out shortly after the Sierra match, and Minarets went on to win 26 matches, including its 10-0 run through league.
If both teams advance through the play-off bracket as expected, the top two ranked D-IV teams in the Central Section would meet for the championship at 12:30 p.m., Nov. 11,at West Hills College in Lemoore.
But first the Mustangs must beat the No. 15 seed, Strathmore (8-16). The game was Tuesday and although the results were not available at press time, they can be seen at www.sierrastar.com.
With a state ranking of 285 along with a state D-IV ranking of No. 10, the Mustangs are heavy favorites to take on the winner of Tuesday’s No. 8 seed McFarland (22-2), and No. 10 seed Rosemond game tonight (Nov. 12) at 7 p.m., at home in the quarter finals.
Should the Mustangs win that game, the team will enjoy another home game in the semi-finals at 7 p.m., Nov. 17, with the possibility of facing No. 3 seed Liberty (Madera Ranchos).