For the first time in six years Turlock Christian High is headed to UC Davis for the Division VI SJS Final. The Eagles earned their shot at championship glory with a 3-1 (18-25, 25-20, 25-11, and 25-22) victory over Sac Country Day High on Tuesday.
The typically slow starting TC jumped out to a significant lead over the Cavaliers in the first set but were met with resistance and ultimately over taken.
“That was a big wake up call for the girls,” TC’s head coach Ken Wynne said. “From that point they never looked back.”
The Eagles shook off the disappointment from the first set and quickly reasserted their dominance. TC’s offense, led by Sarah Amaral, found holes in Sac Country Day’s back corners and continued to exploit them throughout the match. Amaral was joined by teammates Monique McMeechan and Tiffany Franco in the offensive attack that kept the Cavaliers off balance. Amaral finished with a whopping 22 kills while McMeechan chipped in 5 kills of her own and Franco provided 29 assists.
“She was a monster tonight,” Wynne said of Amaral.
TC’s defense was also a big factor in Tuesday’s win. Amaral and Arin Morelli patrolled the back court as Samantia Fabila and Madison Yagi provided mid-court coverage from the corners. Morelli ended her night with 16 digs and Amaral notched four blocks. Amaral also led the team statistics in aces with four.
“It was a full team effort on defense,” Wynne said. “We did a great job covering the holes in our middle.”
TC will get only one day of practice before Thursday’s championship match. The Eagles will face either Valley Christian or Victory Christian High in the 4 p.m. final.
“We have to continue what we started tonight, playing aggressively on defense,” Wynne said. “But the main thing is to make sure everyone is healthy and ready to attack.”