A straight sets victory over South Fork on Tuesday night keeps the Hoopa Warriors in contention for the Little 4 championship, thanks in large part to an outstanding display from the Ferndale Wildcats.
The Ferndale girls stunned the league with a four-sets victory at home to previously unbeaten St. Bernard’s, throwing the race for the championship wide open again with two nights of action remaining.
The Crusaders remain atop the standings with a record of 6-1, with the Warriors 5-2 and still well in the hunt.
The two frontrunners meet in the league finale on Tuesday night at St. Bernard’s in what could be a championship decider.
The Wildcats turned in a tenacious performance to win 25-19, 25-23, 21-25, 25-23, and, according to assistant coach Ron Lewis, it was a very good team performance with several players contributing.
Kyla Albee led the way with a team-high 13 kills, to go with two blocks and 19 serves, while teammate Arianna Williams finished with six kills and three blocks.
“She was really dominant at the net,” Lewis said of Williams.
Freshman Saige Machado also had a good night, finishing with 17 assists and nine serves, while Tia Henrikson had four kills and 20 serves.
Carly Powell also was instrumental in the win with 18 serves, while Rainy Rodrigues added 17 serves.
The SB girls rallied to win the third set, but were unable to keep the momentum going.
“We played poorly,” said head coach Wendy Joyner, who added there was no communication and too many costly errors. “We were behind and the girls tried playing it safe, which caused more errors. We truly beat ourselves.”
The performance was not without its bright spots, including some impressive serving by Kodi Myer, Marcee Davilla and Teressa Riley.
Maddie Shanahan also continued to impress with a team-high 13 kills, while Courteney Goodman added four kills and Myer capped a good all-around performance with a team-high 24 assists.
The Hoopa girls, meanwhile, kept their championship hopes alive with a third victory over South Fork in three conference matchups this fall.
A victory over Ferndale on Thursday will give the Warriors a chance to play for at least a share of the league crown at St. Bernard’s next Tuesday.
The Bibancos twins, Jewely and Diamond, both had good nights at the service line, combining for 15 aces.
Jewely had nine aces, while Diamond added six, as well as a kill.
Taylor Cole also had a big night with a team-high nine kills, while Savannah Colegrove had eight kills.
Cole, Colegrove and Tannah O’Rourke each also had two aces, while Tatianna Colegrove had two kills.
“It was a great team effort today,” head coach Amber McCovey-Billings said.