A total of 13 players from Turlock, Pitman, Turlock Christian, Hilmar and Hughson high schools competed on Saturday from the Pride’s gym for the second annual Denair Lumber Stanislaus District Volleyball All-Star game.
The game featured high school seniors from 30 schools and eight leagues in the Sac-Joaquin Section.
Both the South teams with local representatives won both games for the large and small schools while Hilmar head coach Patti Harris led the South team for the small school game.
“Absolutely an honor… It was so great, so many great players out there all over the place,” said Harris.
Harris and the Yellowjackets are coming off their third straight undefeated season in the Trans Valley League, including their seventh straight semifinal appearance in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
“It was fun, going into the season we had almost everyone coming back, but every year it is very different,” said Harris. “It is never the same team and this year’s team did a great job. I wanted to see them peak at the end, and I feel we accomplished that, great season.”
Hilmar saw the most representatives after they had six compete in the small school game for the South squad. On that squad were six seniors who played one final time on Saturday for Harris.
They were comprised of Alondra Huerta, Olivia Peterson, Kayley Souza, Emma Martin, Julia Gonsalves and Sierra Denys.
Along with the Hilmar six was Hughson’s Giana Martella and Turlock Christian’s Jyllian Knight-Urban representing the South squad for the small school game.
In game one, the South took it 25-21. The second set saw the same result after the South won it 25-17 to take a 2-0 lead.
The South side won the third and final game to complete the sweep after a 25-19 win.
“We had three practices, and out there we looked like we were having fun and seemed like we had been playing together for a while, which was really neat,” said Harris. “The girls were all great, every single one. The girls came out and wanted to win, they are competitive...”
In the large school game, the South team was made up of 12. Kayla Battles, Kendra Delgado and Brionna Sims from Pitman and Jazmyn Tubbs and Mary Padilla from Turlock joined the South team.
“Playing in the all-star game was amazing,” said Tubbs, who signed to play with Cal State Dominguez Hills. “It was the perfect wrap to my high school career and I am very happy with leaving Turlock High. I have had amazing memories at the school, like sections and homecoming queen, but it’s time to close this chapter and begin the rest of life at college.”
“Representing Pitman was both exciting, because I got to show the audience what Pitman volleyball brings to a team, and also nerve racking because I was representing my school playing a position, I’ve never played in my six years of volleyball,” said Battles. “With the support and encouragement from my coaches and teammates I gained more confidence as the game went on.”
The South won the second set at 25-17 and by that point they had gone up 2-0.
The North ended up making it 2-1 after they won the third set, 25-22.
Once the fourth hit, the North held a lead for the majority of the game, but the South managed to rally and win it 25-21 to end it, 3-1.
"Personally, I was anxious on how the game was going to go because we only had three practices and the North side had some very talented and stronger players,” Battles added. “I didn’t know how our team would react to it, but once the first set started and I saw what we could actually do in a game setting I was very confident and proud of all the girls showing what they can do with their own talents. I would like to add the All Star game is such a wonderful thing because it allows senior girls to be recognized for their talents and gives them a shot to not only represent their school but represent what their coaches have taught them and also gives them the opportunity to meet new wonderful girls that become friends."