Turlock High’s varsity volleyball squad was quick to move past their dismal showing at a Stockton tournament over the weekend to bring their 'A' game to Monday's league contest against Golden Valley.
Both Central California Conference teams came out ready to play, but it was Turlock which had the upper hand after a solid showing in the first game with a nine-point win.
GV battled in the second game as they made it close but the Bulldogs pulled away with a powerful third game sweep to win it in straight sets, 3-0 [25-16, 25-22 and 25-15].
“We got the reps in the tournament, but we were tired playing without a full team,” said Turlock head coach Amber Castillon. “I thought the offense included everybody and that is what I wanted to happen. We want to get everyone involved and we were able to do that and so we are happy with tonight.”
The victory marks the team’s 27th win of the season and gives the Bulldogs a 5-1 CCC record, along with snapping a four-game losing streak.
“I think I played a lot better than this weekend. Also helps that our entire team was here today,” said Turlock’s Sophie Bigler. “That helps because we are a dynamic team when we are all there and I've been working in the gym as well and the tournament helped get us better because we were pushed.”
The Cougars of GV came out in the opening game to give the ‘Dogs a battle, contesting point-for-point.
Turlock surged to a 5-1 run, however, to end the first just a point off from double digits with Emily Romo ending the first game with a kill.
The ‘Dogs committed just six errors all game and with Julia Handy’s 34 assists, Turlock was set for success.
In the second game, both sides seemed to be on the same level.
GV was flying around, digging and countering nearly every attack from Turlock, taking an early 7-4 lead.
The ‘Dogs fought back to tie it four times before pulling away with a 3-0 run at the end of the second game.
“We took it for granted and then realized we were falling apart and we needed to work together again and play our game,” said Bigler, who finished with seven kills.
Turlock’s intensity sparked back up to their standards in the third and final game, assisted by Romo’s game-high 13 kills and Jadyn Tubbs nine.
Everyone seemed to be on the same page as Turlock just blew past GV in the finale as Romo concluded the match with the game-ending kill.
“Having everyone involved is having everyone mentally dialed in, every set and that is a new thing for us that we are pushing and just getting used to it,” Castillon added. “We don’t show much love to the middles but they have been big contributors to our success, especially in this game.”
“When you are pushed to a higher level it brings out the best in you and that is me, I want to do whatever it takes to win,” Bigler added.