In perhaps Yosemite’s most pivotal match of the 2019 season, the Badger varsity volleyball program secured at least a tie for the North Sequoia League title by defeating the second-place Panthers of Washington Union 3-0 on Oct. 27 in the Badger Gym.
It was an outstanding performance from the steadily improving Badger volleyball program. Yosemite is now 23-15 and 8-0 in the NSL.
The Badgers defeated Union by scores of 25-16, 25-11, and 25-6. Yosemite has won 10 straight matches dating back to Sept 21.
The Badgers are ranked No. 2 in the Central Section Division III, according to MaxPreps.com.
San Joaquin Memorial (25-8) is No. 1.
Union came into the match with a strong 24-11-1 record overall and 6-1 in the NSL. The only Panther defeat was a 3-0 loss at home to Yosemite on Oct. 1. The Panthers hoped to avenge that loss on the Badgers home court.
Yosemite had other plans and put together a dominating performance against a very solid Union program-ranked No. 4.
The Badgers got better every game against Union. YHS was never behind.
The Badgers have now won their North Sequoia League matches 24 games to 1. Coach Chenowith and the Badgers knew this was a pivotal game.
“Union was 6 - 1 and we were 7 - 0 coming into this match and we planned on a battle,” Chenowith said. “But we played so well, we just shut them down. Our blocking and defense was able to handle everything they had. Our offense just kept coming at them making it difficult for them to earn points.”
Kaylee Smith-12 good passes, 28 digs; Ava Gresham 8 good passes, 10 digs, 1 ace; Kayla Truelove 7 kills, 3digs; Isabelle Magee 20 assists, 14 digs; Lily Madaus-10 assists, 7 digs; Madison Gipson-2 kills, 4 digs, 1 ace, 2 blocks; Kylee Van Valkenburg-2 kills, 1 block; Keylee Andersen-7 kills, 5 digs, 6 blocks; Raigan Gipson-9 kills, 9 blocks; Madison Morris 7 kills, 2 aces, 11 digs, 3 blocks.
The Badger JV also Undefeated
The Yosemite Badgers JV program is also 8-0 after defeating Washington Union 2-1. The Badgers, coached by Mindy Gresham, are also on a roll this season.
Gresham was proud of her team after a challenging win over Union.
“This game was a big one for us,” Gresham said. “We knew they were going to be our best competition and with one starter injured, and one ill, the rest of the team had to step up. It was a hard-fought battle with some girls playing positions they had never played before. The tenacity they showed really exemplifies the character of this team. They fight! I could not be more proud of each and every one of them.”
YHS needed all the tenacity they could get. Union won the first game 25-17. Gresham challenged her team and they responded. YHS took an early 7-2 in game two and was up 17-10. Union roared back and took a 21-19 lead. After a Gresham time out, the Badgers dug deep and pulled out an exciting 26-24 win.
In the third and deciding game, played to 15, YHS jumped out to a 7-1 lead. Union fought back with a 5-0 run. From there it was all YHS who went on an 8-2 run and closed out Union, winning 15-8.
For Gresham, the success of her first season at the JV helm is special.
“Our preseason schedule had us playing some really difficult teams and the girls had to learn to work together. They have a very special bond that I have been very proud to be a part of,” Gresham said. “This is my rookie coaching season. To see the girls respond like they do is amazing. Just when you think the team has given up, they come back with a vengeance!”