Monday's triple digit weather soared in the afternoon, reaching a peak of 107 in the valley, but that didn't stop Turlock and St. Mary's of Stockton varsity volleyball players from competing in their annual Foundation game to kick off the year.
With no air conditioner in the Rams gym, and the possibility of a cancellation at hand, both sides decided to carry on and compete in drastic conditions that made the humidity unbearable at times.
“We worried about cancellation, since we worried about the conditions not being safe with the temperature, but it worked out and we got to play,” said Turlock head coach Amber Lugo. “It was kind of like being in South Texas, like a sauna in there, fans were on but they warmed up, less than ideal conditions.”
A higher number of timeouts were called in between sets for water breaks due to the increased possibility of dehydration.
Tough conditions or not, nothing was able to contain last year's Division-I Sac-Joaquin Section runners-up, the Turlock Bulldogs, who pulled off the sweep in a 3-0 final, (26-24, 25-21 and 25-18).
“We weren’t used to a real low gym and we struggled with that, but it got better as we carried on, didn’t take much and our girls worked their tail off,” said Lugo. “Plus St. Mary's is always a great opponent, just fantastic we get to play against them.”
The Foundation game was also an opportunity for the players to garner scholarship money, as all of the funds are donated to the California Interscholastic Federation.
“The Foundation game is great because of the scholarships for the CIF and the refs volunteer,” said Lugo.
This year, the Bulldogs are heading into the regular season with the most experienced squad that the program has ever seen.
“Six players on varsity for us went to nationals,” said Lugo. “High school ball is what it is, but there is club experience that is unsurpassed on this team, not sure there has been depth like the experience these seniors have, and add Jazmyn, who has been to nationals twice as a sophomore.”
Jazmyn Tubbs is the younger, yet taller sister of Jadyn Tubbs (University of Pacific) who is already committed to a D-I four-year collegiate program.
The other is Turlock's star in Julia Handy (University of Arizona), and all three were standouts on Monday afternoon from Stockton.
Jadyn, Jazmyn and Handy each had seven kills while teammates Isabella Bush and Mary Katherine Padilla each added five kills apiece.
Handy added 30 assists with five digs and had four aces. As a team, Turlock finished with 13 aces and 12 digs altogether.
“We are very talented... but it was hot and talked to them how proud and hard they played,” Lugo added. “Showed some things to work on, as it does, can showcase one thing but reveal another, that is how we saw it. They are beyond excited and ready for this year, a lot of experience.”
Turlock will host Beyer to open up the regular season at 6 p.m. Thursday.