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Hilmar sweeps Hughson for 11th time in a row
hilmar volley 3
Mariah Ahid of Hilmar gets up in the air and ready for a kill during the second game of Wednesday's TVL matchup at Hughson. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal

Hilmar has a history of dominating Hughson High on the volleyball court.


Since joining the Trans Valley League in 2010, the Hilmar varsity squad has controlled Hughson from the onset, winning 10 consecutive—in straight sets—heading into Wednesday's contest.


After Wednesday's victory, Hilmar has now defeated Hughson for the 11th consecutive time, also in straight sets, in the first meeting of the season, 3-0, (25-15, 25-20 and 25-6).


“Wow... that is kind of crazy,” said Hilmar head coach Patti Harris about the winning streak. “Tonight, our passing was good and everything for the most part was consistent. Our play was inconsistent but passing was better and so that always makes us play better... it really does.”


“We came together as a team and our bond was not as good in the beginning but then it just got better and I felt like we came together as a team near the end of it,” said Hilmar sophomore Hannah Pearce.


Hilmar began league with a 3-0 posting, winning all contests in straight sets.


“I think Hughson for the most part is still building the program, since I have seen them go through many coaches over a short period of time and they have definitely improved after every year,” Harris said. “They were definitely better than they were last year. More of a competitive match than last year.”


Hilmar dominated the game for the most part, taking advantage of some miscues from Hughson, especially on serves.


When the game ended, Hilmar had tallied 18 aces for the game with three players amassing four: Riley Souza, Mariah Ahid and Avery Martin.


“We have a bond that works. We have issues here and there but in the end we can pull through and reach our goal after we set it, we do whatever it takes,” Souza said.


Hilmar took a large lead in the first game, which ended in a 10-point victory followed by a five-point victory in game two.


“The second game was us and we changed things up with the rotation and sometimes when you do that in volleyball it messes you up and we were working on some things and plays, just offensively,” said Harris.


Game three was a breeze, ending in just a matter of minutes by a 19-point margin, anchored by Emily Baptista's 14 kills and Hannah Pearce's 29 assists. Erin Benning tallied three blocks.


“We usually do good then struggle at the beginning of the second game, but we can pull through like tonight,” Souza said.


The next game for Hilmar will be another league contest at home against Ripon at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.