Things are heating up on the high school volleyball court, as Analy and El Molino continue to chase excellence on the pre-league circuit.
Lions clip Hawks
El Molino (14-4) continued their best start in years in a Sept. 12 visit to Tamalpais, turning back a strong Hawk’s squad in four hard-fought sets; 25-11, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23.
Sasha Senal led the way with 12 kills, 12 digs and 4 aces. Other strong efforts were had by Kassidy Sani (14 kills, 18 digs, 4 assists), Grace McCormick (3 kills, 2 aces, 30 assists) and Yasmin Sierra (22 digs, 4 assists, 5 aces).
”We came out strong and our errors were kept to a minimum,” El Mo coach Becky Sani reported. “We made a few adjustments in our middle blockers (after the third game) and we were able to take the fourth set. I was very excited to see my team rise to the challenge of handling an attack from a quick middle hitter.”
The Lions ventured south to Novato on Sept. 14 for the Nor Cal Tournament, another good litmus test against playoff caliber opponents. El Mo passed with flying colors, taking third place overall. The Lions recorded wins over Downey and St. Patrick/St. Vincent before taking losses Division 1 and Division 2 powers Turlock and Chico.
“I’m very proud of how my team played, we were able to hang with both teams and battled on defense against their strong outside hitters,” Becky Sani said. “Our weak point was our blocking their attack, so if we can dial that in and get more touches, then we'll be able to step up to the hard hitting teams.”
El Molino will host Analy in the “Apple Match” on Sept. 17 (after press time) and kick off the NBL Redwood Division schedule on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at Rancho Cotate (6 p.m.).
Tigers gain split
The Tigers (6-4) gained an even split in a pair of recent matches, beginning with a four-set loss at Tamalpais on Sept. 11.
The Hawks took the first two sets; 25-21 and 25-21 before Analy clawed back to win the third, 25-16. Tam claimed the match with a 25-13 win in the fourth set.
Pacing the Tigers’ attack were Bella Puget (18 kills), Juliette Price (9 kills, 4 aces), Marquesa Weigel (16 digs), Avery Tollini (15 digs) and Bree Scott (15 digs, 4 aces).
The Tigers bounced back two nights later at Piner, defeating the Prospectors in three games; 26-24, 25-13, 25-16.
Stat leaders included Puget (14 kills), Cassie McNight (8 kills), Scott (16 digs, 4 aces) and Weigel (14 digs, 3 aces).
Analy will visit Ukiah on Sept. 19 (6:30 p.m.) before hosting Cardinal Newman in the NBL Oak Division opener next Tuesday, Sept. 24 (6:30 p.m.).