Girls volleyball defends CIF championship title

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Girls volleyball defends CIF championship title

Bryan Fernandez

For the second time in history, Andrea Sims accepts the CIF Division II-A Championship award for winning the match against Whittier Christian at Cypress College on Nov. 19. The lady Vikes were also CIF Champions in the 2010-2011 season.

Julia Ruiz, Sports Editor

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The girls varsity volleyball team defended their CIF title as they defeated the Whittier Christian Heralds 3-2 at the CIF Division 2-A Final on Sat. Nov. 19 atCypressCollege. Supporters from both teams filled the stands as Whittier Christian fans brought an immense amount of energy; however, it was the Lady Vikes that began strongly as they won the first game 16-25. 

The Heralds’ poor start was apparently a wake up call as they came out atop in the second set. Their spikes and serves were too much for the defending champs to handle and they fell behind as Whittier Christian took the game 25-14.

Viking Michelle Barba’s spike opened up the third game and additional spikes from Joy Miley kept the girls ahead. A slight injury to captain Makayla Taylor paused the game. A clash with a fellow teammate caused Taylor some pain on her neck, but she was able to shake it off and continue the game, as she was welcomed back with a warm applause from the crowd. Meanwhile, the Heralds offense kept up their communication and rotation and was able to tie the game at 23-23.  A short serve from the number two-ranked team put Sims’ girls in the lead, yet Whittier Christian was able to correct their mistakes and tie the game at 24-24. A spike from Miley went out of bounds and the Vikes trailed behind. A final point fromLa Habra’s home team gave them the set as they won 26-24.

“Whittier Christian was really strong,” Viking senior Samantha Kang said. “They played well so naturally and were causing our team trouble.”

With the game set at 2-1, the defending champions were aware that they had final chance of winning the game and they came out stronger than before leaving the Heralds in the dust. Whittier Christian’s Deanna Blaine and Jaden Louie both provided spikes that got their team on the scoreboard. However, their efforts were not enough as the Lady Vikes continued to lead. Blaine’s short serve and miscommunication from the opponents pulled them down as the Vikes won the game 19-25.

“We stepped up our game during the middle of the match because we knew we had what it took to win and we kept out energy high the whole time,” captain Heather Schnars said.

An aggregate score of 2-2 meant that the championship title could go to either team. Energy ran high throughout the gymnasium’s atmosphere as Whittier Christian took the lead with Schnars’ team right behind them, who were able to tie the game at 4-4 and from there take the lead.  A time out at 7-13 caused anxiety as supporters grew rowdy. A spike from Schnars got the crowd on their feet with a single finger raised in their air, signaling the final point needed to claim the second consecutive title.  However, the point took longer to come as nerves weaken the Viking defense and the Heralds took full advantage and gained four points. Finally, a soft touch from Taylor sent the ball to a corner in which Whittier Christian attempted to save but ended up sending it to their crowd, giving Coach Sims and her girls another CIF championship.

“It was amazing [to win] and it meant more to me this year because we had to work a lot harder,” Taylor said. “We didn’t kill them in three like we did last year and [that made it] way more emotional to me.”

Assistant principal John Baker presented the girls their award as they received a standing ovation from their fans. With another title to their belt, the girls advance to State Finals as they face Madera High School away for their first round.