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Hilmar digs deep but falls in Nor Cal opener
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Coming off a devastating defeat to Sonora High in the CIF Division-IV Sac-Joaquin Section Championship, Hilmar High’s volleyball team was hoping to bounce back in the CIF Northern California State Tournament but things ended quickly for the Yellowjackets who lost in straight sets, 0-3.

Although Hilmar was the underdogs as the eighth seeded team, it gave the number one seed and 25th ranked team in the state—Notre Dame—a run for its money.

The ‘Jackets came out strong in the first set, but one of the top teams in the Bay Area picked up the pace in the final two games as they won and advanced to the quarterfinal round (21-25, 18-25 and 15-25).

“They played hard but in the end everyone kind of shut down,” said Hilmar head coach Patti Harris. “Our girls battled hard. They did well, but they definitely played much better for sure than the Section title game. Our girls wanted to end on a high note with the last game of the season.”

It was without a doubt a much better performance from Hilmar against, statistically, a much better team.

However, for the ‘Jackets, the experience is far greater as they will return most of their core group, 12 of their 15 players, on their roster for next season.

“Next year I have most of the team coming back and it will be another good season next year for sure,” Harris said.

In their final games as seniors, Haylee Pearce ended the game with 27 assists while Whitney Williams added on three aces. Freshman Hannah Pearce tallied 13 digs.

The ‘Jackets finish the season with another successful record at 38-9 overall and swept the Trans Valley League for the second consecutive season. 

 “It was a good season almost the same as last year,” Harris added. “This team was very young with a couple freshmen and new blood and it was a lot of work also with injuries but they did a good job to overcome all of it with what we had. It was another good ride. I couldn’t be any more proud.”