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Eagles volleyball defeat Mariposa, move on to fourth straight semifinal
TC's Abbie Morelli spikes one over Mariposa during Thursdays match up. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal

Turlock Christian High’s varsity volleyball team has reached the semifinal round of the postseason for the fourth consecutive season after defeating No. 7 Mariposa on Thursday at home in the Division-V CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.

It wasn’t the smoothest of games for TC, which faced one of their toughest competitors all season long.

Mariposa edged out TC in the first set before the senior-heavy TC Eagles rebounded from the loss to surge into three consecutive set victories to edge out Mariposa, 3-1, [18-25, 25-22, 25-18 and 25-23].

“It was a battle, by far our toughest match yet,” said TC head coach Pam Franco. “These girls are good and there is no question we were a little nervous coming in at a different division, but our girls got it done.”

Stacked with seven strong seniors on the team, TC forgot about the jitters after falling to Mariposa by seven points in the opening set and really stepped up their game in the next three.

“I think the girls knew it was one and done and the nerves got to them but we were playing more defensively than offensively,” said Franco. “Luckily we battled in the second set and that seemed to get everyone around excited since its our house and game to protect.”

TC protected their home court as if it was their last point, playing like a bunch of determined athletes with poise and experience.

Led by the always strong duo of Nicky Sanders and Mikayla Yagi, Meghan Mark as well as Tatiana Fabila were essential components to the victory on Thursday, each contributing and doing their part.

Sanders finished with a game-high 18 kills to go with her 12 digs and two blocks. Yagi finished with five ace serves, nine kills and two blocks and Mark combined for 24 digs.

Fabila finished with a team-high 17 assists to help lead the Eagles to three straight set victories, with the closest match coming in the fourth, where TC snuck out with a two-point win.

“After that early slip, our girls stepped up and played hard and great match after that from us,” said Franco. “They stepped up we did. We came out strong and were ready to battle till the end. We seem to just improve as the game goes on.”

The next game for the TC Eagles will be a home semifinal meeting with Bradshaw Christian at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

“I believe these girls can do anything they set their minds to. Bradshaw is always a tough team,” Franco added.