Sierra beats Yosemite to win NSL championship

Yosemite (27-10, 8-2 NSL) senior Shelby Biscaglio said the Badger volleyball team would bring their “A” game to Sierra (29-3, 9-1 NSL) last Thursday night after the Chieftains beat the Badgers in four sets in Oakhurst on Oct. 20.

Yosemite did bring its “A” game to Tollhouse on Nov. 5, but it wasn’t quit enough as Sierra beat the Badgers in five sets (25-22, 22-25, 25-19, 21-25, 15-9) in a very competitive game before a loud crowd of nearly 700.

The win clinched the NSL Championship for Sierra.

Both teams came into the game with identical 8-1 league records, with Sierra’s only league loss against Liberty, and Yosemite’s to Sierra.

Sierra Coach Amanda Thompson was unable to attend the game as she was with one of her children (high fever) at the hospital. Stepping in for her was assistant Todd Briggs, and although he is an experienced volleyball player and coach, he said he did feel pressure given the game was for the league championship.

“But I know hard our team practiced for this game and felt confident in our senior leadership,” Briggs said.

Savannah Bohna had 11 kills and two blocks on the night, with Karee Smith and Dainya DeBock adding six each. Smith also had eight blocks, and DeBock recorded six blocks and eight digs.

Other contributions on the night came from Siena Oswald (23 received serves, 24 digs), Tiffany Cacy (18 digs, 23 assists), Kailei Gould (22 digs, five kills, 3 blocks), and Rachel Loveland (eight blocks, four kills).

Shelby Biscaglio had 13 digs, and Hannah Hurtado had 10 digs.

“We played well only missing two serves the entire night,” Coach Michele Chenowith said. “Karee (Smith) didn’t make one hitting error all evening. It was a well fought match and I am proud of the girls. We are looking forward to our Central Section za big crowd Thursday night at home


Section play-offs underway

After receiving byes in the opening round (Nov. 10) of the CIF Central Section play-offs, Sierra (D-IV - 15 teams), and Yosemite (D-III - 13 teams) are playing tonight (Thursday) at 7 p.m. on their home courts in the quarter-finals. Yosemite is the only team from the NSL playing in the D-III division.

Yosemite received the No. 3 seed, will play the winner of the opening round game between No. 6 seed Reedley, and No. 11 Foothill. The No. 1 and 2 teams in the division are Bakersfield Christian, and Mission Oak.

Sierra, coached by Amanda Thompson, is the No. 1 seed in D-IV, and like Yosemite, had a bye on Tuesday. Sierra is playing the winner of the game between No. 8 Taft and No. 9 Bishop Union.

The semi finale games for all divisions will be played at 7 p.m., Nov. 17, with championship games set for Nov. 21, at West Hills College in Lemoore.

Minarets, coached by Jessica Carter, and Liberty (Madera Ranchos) are the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds in D-IV.

Badger JV team wins NSL title

The Yosemite JV team finished their season on a high note last Thursday night defeating Sierra for a perfect 10-0 league record (14-4 overall), and the NSL JV Championship.

Sierra won the first set 25-16, but Yosemite came back to win the second set (25-17).

In the third and deciding set, Sierra had the game point serve at 14-13, but Yosemite held them off, and got the 17-15 win.

“The girls never gave up,” said Coach Tricia Ruiz. “Our two team co-captains, Jordan Jackson and Katherine Bayt both played great games and kept our team in the match.”

Bayt had 15 digs, one service ace, and 14 other good serves in the game. Jackson, the team’s setter, ended the game with 18 assists and three kills.

Ruiz also pointed to the tremendous defensive play of by Izzy Peter recording 11 digs to go with her eight service points, including one ace.

Monique Ades contributed with four kills and Chloe Duke with six kills.

Bayt said the team brought a lot of heart with them into the game.

“With Sierra winning the first game, it got pretty stressful, but we all knew we would pull through. We believe in each other and trust each other. Feels great to end the season with a league title.”

Jackson, a freshman from Coarsegold Elementary, said joining the high school JV team was scary at first, but her teammates were very supportive and made her feel confident and comfortable.

“My mom and dad went to YHS so I know all about the rivalry with Sierra,” Jackson said. “It felt great to beat Sierra, especially on their home court.”

“I am so proud of every girl on this team,” Ruiz said. “We started as a group of individual volleyball players and ended up as a dynamite volleyball team. The girls work well together and each and every one of them has a specific job on this team, and they all do it well.”