The Turlock Christian Eagles volleyball team was one win away from competing in the CIF Division VI Nor Cal championship game, but their fate was decided this past weekend after falling in the semifinal match to Anderson Valley in straight sets.
TC traveled four hours to Boonville to square off against the Panthers in a big showdown, but right from the start it looked like the Eagles weren't at top flight as they never recovered from the first set loss.
They dropped their next two sets in one of the sloppiest matchups of the year for head coach Ashlee Towns’ squad as they fell in three, (24-26, 17-25 and 17-25).
“We didn’t play our best game and we looked like we had just run out of gas,” Towns said. “Perhaps all the turkey from Thanksgiving slowed us down, but we did not show up and play good volleyball. We should have won that game easily and it will be a game that bothers me for a long time.”
“The girls definitely didn’t bring their ‘A’ game,” TC athletic director Jake Von Sherer said. “We were the superior team and it was obviously a good season, but the playoff run ended. It was a very long drive there and our girls played a bit off maybe because of it.”
Despite a big loss, the seniors still played a big role in the team’s success this season and in their final contest as Eagles.
Madison Yagi finished her final game with 19 assists and two aces while Tori Viera topped out with five kills and four aces.
Coach Towns tried different schemes to get the Eagles into their groove, but nothing seemed to work out for the Turlock Christian squad.
“We tried different lineups to see if they would provide a spark for the team, but we just couldn’t find our energy and intensity,” she said. “We weren’t energetic and we lacked the determination that we had been using to be successful. We took our eye off of the prize and relished in our Davis victory rather than striving for a NorCal Championship.”
Despite the Nor Cal loss, the Eagles were able to capture their third consecutive section title this year as they ended with a 21-18 overall record.
“It was a great season and the girls worked hard to bring a third section championship to TC,” said Towns. “I am extremely proud of them. I just hate for our seniors that they went out on this note. They played their hearts out and, unfortunately, we came up one game shy of our goal.”