By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Eagles volleyball looking to advance to D-V title match
TC Volleyball
Kaisa Spycher and the Turlock Christian volleyball team will start the playoffs on Tuesday night against Stone Ridge Christian in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament. - photo by CHHUN SUN / The Journal
A year ago, the Turlock Christian volleyball team suffered one of the more painful endings to a playoff campaign in school history.“It’s a heartbreaker that will probably stay with all of us for many years to come,” Eagles coach Keith Landmeier said at the time.This memory hasn’t left the minds of Landmeier and his current players, with some of them rearranging their faces in agony whenever that fateful finish is mentioned. Here’s a recap: In a quarterfinal match of the 2009 Division V Tournament, all the Eagles needed was a single point to eclipse Woodland Christian in the fifth and final game. Though they were well ahead with a 14-9 lead, the Eagles ultimately faltered in heartbreaking fashion.It was the kind of misfortune that’s hard to forget.But it’s also the kind of misfortune that can be used as motivation, seeing that the Eagles spent the past few months trying to earn a second chance. Their turn comes at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, when No. 3 Turlock Christian welcomes No. 6 Merced’s Stone Ridge Christian to Calvary Baptist Gym for an opening round playoff match in the D-V tournament.“I’m taking more of the approach of learning from the past, but in a sense, forgetting about it and moving on to what’s coming up and focusing on that,” captain Kara Gabrielson said. She’s one of six seniors on the team, making this postseason run a sort of last-chance parade for them.It’s been four years since the Eagles captured a Section championship. Since then, it’s been all Ripon Christian in D-V, winner of three consecutive titles dating back to 2007. Landmeier, the TC coach, believes his squad can make a trip to this year’s championship match, because of two reasons: His team has the talent to do so and the D-V tournament is down to eight teams, not 16 like years past.“I’m very confident about what we can do with the bracket,” Landmeier noted.So far, the Eagles have had an impressive run. They finished 11-3 in the Southern League, topping competitive Mariposa High and falling short of the title because of mighty Ripon Christian. The Knights stomped their way to a 17-0 record, a streak that included sweeping TC twice.There’s a chance that Ripon Christian and Turlock Christian could meet again. That’d be in the Section championship match at UC Davis on Nov. 18, considering the teams play on opposite sides of the bracket.But first, TC has Stone Ridge.The last time the two teams met was at last year’s Golden Valley High Tournament, where the Eagles earned a 25-14, 25-13 win. This time, the meeting is in a playoff setting and the Turlock Christian players aren’t living in the past, especially with having a player like junior Rebekah Muller leading in kills (175), aces (51) and digs (287).“I have a good feeling about this year in playoffs,” said senior Molly Farrar, who’s the team leader in blocks and assists with 46 and 254, respectively. “I think we’re gonna do really good. Because of where we are, I think we can go really far.”To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.