For the second straight year, the Turlock High varsity volleyball team is heading to the semifinals in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-I bracket after coming out on top over Granite Bay, 3-1, Thursday night from home.
“We worked hard to do the things we know we can work well and luckily it worked out for us,” said Turlock head coach Amber Lugo.
Despite the convincing final, it wasn’t an easy win for the Bulldogs.
GB were the first to put up a point in any set, taking a quick 1-0 lead over Turlock.
By the end of the first, Turlock was able to turn in a 10-point victory after rallying 10-1 to close it out with a 25-15 victory.
Following a strong opening set, GB came in and took a quick lead in the second.
The momentum swing was evident in this set as both sides saw a tie a total of 13 different times.
GB was able to close out the second with a 27-25 win to tie it at 1-1.
“I think we were a little shaky and nervous at the beginning because we put pressure on ourselves to make it as far as last year,” said Turlock’s Julia Handy. “However, once we settled down, we got in a rhythm and shut them down, so that was good.”
The Bulldogs of Turlock came out ready to battle in a third set that turned out more exciting than the second.
Tough play paved the way for Turlock to earn the win in the third set at 25-23, closing out the set with a close rally of two points.
With an array of seniors including Handy, Jadyn Tubbs, Riley Cantwell, Isabella Bush and Audrey Dykzeul, Turlock also had the help of sophomores Jazmyn Tubbs and Mary K. Padilla assisting the squad during difficult circumstances on Thursday.
“I think the biggest thing we had to get over was the name Granite Bay, because most times you hear of these big times schools that have won sections and we just had to get over that,” said Jadyn Tubbs. “After that Pitman game, I felt we could get past any deficit.”
The Bulldogs went on to handle the Grizzlies in the fourth and final set after settling down and letting the points come to them.
Turlock closed out the game with a 9-6 run to earn their spot in the final four.
“In the fourth set we were just very focused on one set,” Handy added. “It’s all we had to do, so we were zoned and focused and were looking through the net and anticipating their next step, being ahead, which helped us.”
Jadyn Tubbs led all players with 22 digs, while Handy added 14 digs of her own, out of the team’s 57 total for the game.
Handy also added a game-high 41 assists, while Jadyn Tubbs added two aces and two assists and sister Jazmyn added 13 kills and eight digs. Bush finished with a team-high 14 kills and added an ace and four digs.
As a team, Turlock committed nine errors for the game.
“Our game plan didn’t change at all, I don’t know what the big difference was. Our passing got a little better, which always helps, being able to run more options,” Lugo added.
Turlock will next host No. 7 Pleasant Grove in the semifinal, a team that upset No. 2 Oak Ridge in the second round and also eliminated Pitman in the first round, at 7 p.m. Tuesday.