The Yosemite Badger Volleyball program keeps rolling.
Badger volleyball is coming off one of the greatest seasons of all time in 2018. All last year’s Badgers did was go 39-9, win the NSL, and the program’s ninth Central Section title in school history.
No other Yosemite sports program has won more CIF titles than Yosemite volleyball.
Head coach Michelle Chenowith has four CIF Volleyball titles. Chenowith won three in a previous stint - 1997, 2000, and 2001. This season, Chenowith has the Badgers positioned for another section playoff run.
The Badgers are 21-15 overall and 6-0 in the North Sequoia League.
Last week, the Badgers defeated Sierra 3-0 and Kerman 3-1. The Badgers have dominated the NSL to date. Before Kerman, the Badgers defeated all NSL opponents, winning 17 straight league games.
The Badgers are 21-15, but don’t let the record fool you.
Chenowith has YHS playing a strong, pre-NSL schedule that includes a lot of Division I and II teams from the Central Section.
“We have had an incredibly difficult schedule in the early part of our season,” Chenowith said. “We scheduled multiple D-I and D-II teams on purpose. This schedule has made us into a tough and scrappy team.”
Scheduling top competition has not only made the Badgers a better team, but it is strong preparation for another playoff run. But don’t think the Badgers are looking ahead just yet.
The NSL is a strong volleyball league. No win will be easy and the decisive showdown for the league title is next week.
“The pressure is on for us to finish the league season strong,” Chenowith said.
Sierra and Kerman
The Badgers hosted long-time NSL foe Sierra on Tuesday and went on the road Thursday to take on the Lions in Kerman.
While the Badgers ddefeated Sierra in three straight games (25-17, 25-17, 25-9), the Chieftains (3-13, 0-3) never quit. It was a total team win.
“We don’t have just one star on our team this year,” Chenowith said. “Every match someone new steps up and shines.”
Against Sierra, it was senior Madison Gipson who led YHS with 16 kills. Kaylee Smith led YHS with 31 digs.
Ava Gresham 2 aces, 11 digs; Kaylee Smith 2 aces, 12 perfect passes, 31 digs; Lily Madaus 14 assists; Isabelle Magee 14 assists; Madison Gipson 14 kills, 4 blocks; Keylee Andersen 6 kills, 4 blocks; Kayla Truelove, & Kylee Van Valkenburg 4 kills; Madison Morris 4 kills, 13 digs.
On Thursday, Kerman gave all the Badgers could handle.
YHS defeated Kerman 25-18, 27-25, 19-25, and 25-21.
It was the first time YHS lost a game in the NSL this season. Andersen led YHS with 9 kills and Morris had 8. Smith had a huge night leading YHS with 17 perfect serves received and 53 digs.
Ava Gresham 3 aces, 27 digs; Kaylee Smith 17 perfect serve receive, 53 digs; Isabell Magee 16 assists 11 digs; Lily Madaus 12 assists, 12 digs; Keylee Andersen 9 kiss, 4 blocks; Kayla Truelove 6 kills; Madison Morris 8 kills, 20 digs, 2 aces; Raigan Gipson 7 kills, 3 blocks, 14 digs; Madison Gipson 5 kills, 10 digs. Liberty and Washington Union
The match between Union and Yosemite on Thursday, Oct. 17 should determine who wins the NSL title. (Game times: JV 5pm/Varsity 6pm).
“Union has only lost to us in league so far, so this match on Thursday will be very big,” Chenowith said. No doubt the Badger Volleyball Faithful will be out in force on Thursday in this NSL deciding match.