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APPLE MATCH — Highlights from the annual volleyball clash between west county rivals El Molino and Analy included big kills by Sasha Senal (No. 9) and Grace McCormick (No. 6).

The El Molino volleyball team retained local bragging rights for at least another year on Sept. 17, turning back the visiting Analy Tigers in three sets; 25-16, 25-7, 25-19.

The victory was the second straight for El Molino after years of dominance by the Tigers, perhaps validating a shift of power in the west county.

After starting the season with losses to Kelseyville and Maria Carrillo, the Lions have reeled off 12 straight wins and show no signs of slowing down heading into the league campaign. 

“We’re now sitting at No. 4 in the North Coast Section Division 4 rankings, which is the highest we’ve been in a very long time,” El Mo coach Becky Sani said. “Heading into league I have my sights set on Rancho Cotate, who has a big experienced middle hitter.”

Both El Molino (12-4) and Analy (6-6) will kick off their respective NBL seasons this week, with the Lions opening up NBL Redwood Division action with road matches at Rancho Cotate (Sept. 24, after press time) and Ukiah (Sept. 26). The Tigers start NBL Oak Division play at home against Cardinal Newman (Sept. 24) and Maria Carrillo (Sept. 26). All varsity matches start at 6 p.m.

Lions retain apple

El Molino was out to defend the apple and came on with a vengeance against Analy when the teams renewed hostilities on Sept. 17.

Senior outside hitter Kassidy Sani set the tone with a quick kill, and El Mo kept the momentum on their side from start to finish in powering to a win in straight sets. 

Statistical leaders for the Lions included Sani (16 kills, 9 digs, 2 aces), Sasha Senal (15 kills, 7 digs, 2 aces), Grace McCormick (37 assists, 7 digs, 2 aces), Ellie Roan (7 kills, 2 blocks) and libero Yasmin Sierra (14 digs, 6 assists, 2 aces).

Top stat getters for the Tigers were Bella Puget (12 kills) and Bree Scott (15 digs).

Tigers fall to Wildcats

Analy traveled to Ukiah on Sept. 19, falling to the Wildcats in a five-set thriller: 25-19, 25-22, 18-25, 23-25, 13-15.

Stat leaders were Puget (16 kills), Cassie McKnight (8 kills), Scott (40 digs, 4 aces) and Gillian Campbell (10 digs, 19 assists).

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