Hilmar High rolled through its second Central California Conference team in a week Thursday night when the 'Jackets (14-4 overall) defeated Turlock High two days after doing the same to Atwater High. Hilmar beat the Bulldogs (8-4 overall) in straight sets (27-25, 25-11, and 25-18) as team defense and a powerful offensive attack from Emily Baptista paved the way.
“Today we played really consistent. We've been working on trying to stay at a certain level of play and not dropping,” Hilmar head coach Patti Harris said.“Today they showed me we can do it; we can be this type of team. And it was really fun to watch them tonight because they did a good job.”
Hilmar and Turlock kept it close in the first set as Baptista and Turlock's Victoria Larsen took turns showing their power on the court, but by the second and third sets Hilmar caught its stride. Constant pressure from the 'Jackets coupled with miscues from the Bulldogs defined the latter stages of Thursday's match.
“There were just too many unforced errors,” Turlock head coach Amber Castillon said. “Our offense is nails as long as we have the pass. We didn't pass well or take care of the ball.”
“They've really started tightening and clicking,” Harris said of her team.
Baptista finished the match with 23 kills and four aces while Larsen finished with 19 kills and 21 digs.
Other notable performances from Hilmar included Haylee Pearce who recorded 37 assists and Avery Martin who notched 17 digs. As for Turlock, Jadyn Tubbs finished with 11 kills and Julia Handy finished with nine digs and 28 assists.
“She's such a consistent player all the way around. Compared to last year she's a lot stronger,” Harris said of Baptista.
Turlock must now prepare for the start of the CCC season with its home opener slated for Monday against Golden Valley High. Hilmar's start to league, on the other hand, it still weeks away as their next match will be non-conference against Big Valley Christian High at home on Monday.
“They played very well together and I hope they keep getting better and better and better,” Harris said. “We have a lot of work to do before our season starts, but we almost three weeks. So we've got this whole month to work.”