Hilmar High's volleyball team had a pretty good run in the Trans Valley League this season. With the exception of TVL champs Escalon High, the Yellowjackets defeated each league opponent that stepped onto the court, earning them a spot in the Division IV SJS playoffs as the 11th seed. On Tuesday, Hilmar will travel to Los Banos for the first round of the post-season in what is sure to be an exciting match.
Pitman High had a monster of a volleyball season this year, decisively defeating every Central California Conference team that crossed its path. Under the tutelage of head coach Kristen Pontes, the Pride won their second straight CCC title on Tuesday, freeing themselves from the confines of their league as they head into the Division I San Joaquin Section Playoff Tournament.
Britney Leon's 2012 tennis season came to an end at the Division I SJS Section Tournament on Thursday. The reigning Central California Conference singles champion met her match in St. Mary's High's Elizabeth Stevens who eliminated the Pride standout in straight sets (2-6, 1-6).
Pitman High's volleyball team got a taste of championship glory for the first time last year and decided it wanted more in 2012. The Pride (15-0 CCC) not only achieved their goal, they set the bar higher; improving on last year's record with an undefeated Central California Conference campaign.
There was less than three minutes left in regulation, Turlock High led Johansen High 1-0 and the Knights were getting desperate. The majority of Tuesday's Division II SJS playoff match was spent in a virtual stalemate with the ball frequenting both ends of the field, but it could all be over if Turlock's defense could hold strong.
There was a time, nearly a decade ago, when Turlockers had only one football team to root for and an out of town rivalry with Ceres High to look forward to each year. Then, in 2004, things suddenly changed. Pitman High was introduced to the Central California Conference, ushering in a new era of football to the Valley and creating an in-town rivalry culminating in a late-October Harvest Bowl.
Turlock High matched last year's performance with a 7th place finish at this season's San Joaquin Section Masters Tournament at The Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton. The Central California Conference Champion Bulldogs finished the day with a total of 466 strokes, beating half the field of 14 high school teams.
Delhi hosted Turlock Christian High Friday night for the Hawks' homecoming game.
Turlock High entered its final home game of the season facing a daunting task -the undefeated and league leading Buhach Colony High Thunder. Fresh off a one score loss against Atwater High, the Bulldogs were hoping a Friday night upset would steer their team towards the playoffs, but Buhach had a different plan altogether.
It was the last Central California Conference match of the year on Thursday when Pitman High hosted Turlock High - but for some it was the last of their lifetime, a fact that wasn't lost on the Lady Bulldogs. End game nostalgia resulted in a desire to go out with a bang. Turlock did just that, jumping on the Pride early on its way to a 5-2 victory that just so happened to also clinch a spot in the Division I San Joaquin Section playoffs as the CCC's third seed.
There was no shortage of motivation Thursday night when Turlock High traveled across town to face Pitman High in the final water polo match of the Central California Conference season. In addition to the in-town rivalry, the Bulldogs were eager to erase the memories from their last meeting with the Pride. Above all, however, Turlock wanted a win to keep its post-season hopes alive.
It was a shaky beginning to the Central California Conference season for Turlock High this year. In their first six games the Bulldogs surprisingly went 1-3-2, leading many in the league to believe the defending champs were in decline.
Hilmar High's hopes of claiming a share of the Trans Valley League volleyball championship evaporated Tuesday night when unbeaten Escalon High rolled into town. In a match reminiscent of the rivals' meeting earlier in the year, the Cougars beat the Yellowjackets 3-1 (14-25, 26-24, 25-27, and 25-19). Although missing out on the league title was a bitter pill to swallow, giving up their only losses of the season to Escalon was even tougher for Hilmar.
Turlock High's girls claimed their 9th consecutive Central California Conference Championship with an impressive showing at the Championship Tournament at the Merced Country Club. The Bulldogs finished the day with a team score of 439, 27 strokes in front of second place Merced High. Rival Pitman High finished third with 505.
Pitman High's Britney Leon spent last season competing on the tennis court in the doubles bracket but her sights were always set on singles glory. She worked on her game through the summer and when the 2012 season began she found herself representing the Pride as the number one singles player, positioning herself as the unquestioned leader of her team.
The Pride of Pitman came into their second game of the 38th annual Frank Godinez tournament against Laguna Creek - which had to forfeit their first round game due to Thursday's storm -with hopes of turning things around after a crushing first round loss to Beyer High.
Another solid effort from Turlock High on the court has landed the Bulldogs in the finals of the Frank Godinez Boys Basketball Tournament for the third year in a row.
Things are finally shaping up for Denair High boys basketball coach RJ Henderson, with the help of assistant head coach Garett Elliott and the commitment from this year's team.
With football being such a rich and successful tradition at Hilmar High, it seems like the basketball program takes the back seat - especially after coming away with only one winning season since 2007.
Pitman High volleyball has been synonymous with dominance in 2014. The Pride steamrolled nearly every opponent they faced this season with its combination of size, power and speed. And when a team rose to the occasion to provide Pitman with a challenge, its girls seemed to persevere through sheer force of will.
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