Hilmar swept through Summerville High in the opening round of the Division IV CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs on Tuesday night after a stellar performance from the Yellowjacket volleyball team that ended in a 3-0 win, [25-14, 25-15 and 25-12].
“It’s always different in the playoffs,” said Hilmar head coach Patti Harris. “You just don’t know in the playoffs because some teams come in and are too confident and with girls volleyball it’s hard to keep their attention in the moment and motivated when playing lower seeded teams.”
Seeded as the No. 2 team in the bracket, Hilmar faced off against the No. 15 team in Summerville and it wasn’t much of a concern for the Trans Valley League champions who came in with a mission.
The determination of the ‘Jackets was evident in the final playoff run for senior Emily Baptista, who took control of the game tallying a game-high 16 kills and four aces.
“Volleyball is a mental game and we need to make sure the girls are focused, but I know it’s tough,” said Harris. “I was telling the girls that it’s the playoffs, and upsets happen all the time.”
Luckily no upset happened on Tuesday night at Hilmar High because the ‘Jackets came out and were ready for anything.
True grit from Baptista and the rest of the team helped the 'Jackets surge to their 34th win of the year after dominating all three sets.
“Summerville is a good group of girls, very young and talented,” said Harris. “We made some silly errors from players who don’t mess up often, but it's okay getting out of the first round is a nice relief.”
Hilmar’s only downside was seven servicing errors in the three-set game, but other than that there wasn’t much of a hiccup for the ‘Jackets.
Mariah Ahid tallied four aces and three solo blocks while Avery Martin tacked on a team-high 22 digs and the ‘Jackets went on to win their 23rd game out of the last 24.
Hannah Pearce finished with 30 assists.
Hilmar’s next game will be against Calaveras at home at 7 p.m. Thursday.