For the first time since 2012, the Hilmar High varsity volleyball team will not be playing in a Sac-Joaquin Section championship game, as the No. 4 Yellowjackets fell to No. 1 Nevada Union on Tuesday after a wild 3-2 loss in the section semifinal contest.
Hilmar, which has an enrollment under 700, faced a NU school with an enrollment well over 1,600 and gave them all they could handle.
Hilmar won the first set, 25-21, then the next two sets saw NU come out on top.
The second set had the Miners respond with a 25-19 win of their own to tie it 1-1.
In the third set, NU notched a 25-19 win once again after a 14-3 rally to close it out and they went up, 2-1.
Hilmar responded in the fourth set with another similar score that ended 25-19, forcing a fifth set for a winner take all.
In the fifth set, NU managed to come out with a 15-13 win, securing their berth in the finale.
Hilmar’s overall record goes to 30-11 while their winning streak ends at seven.
NU is now 41-10.
Prior to Tuesday’s loss, the Yellowjackets had won 10 straight SJS contests dating back to 2017 as they went 2-1 this year, and 4-0 the past two seasons in the section playoffs.
Hilmar fails to advance to their seventh consecutive Sac-Joaquin Section Championship game after making it to the Division-IV final the last half a dozen seasons. This is the first time they competed in the D-III bracket.
Their season isn’t over yet, however, as Hilmar will compete in the CIF State tournament with an opponent and time yet to be determined.