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Hilmar volley cruises through Vacaville Christian into semis
Hilmar volley
Hilmars Makayla Fontes (5), Mariah Ahid (4), Kassidy Mendes (6) and Erin Benning (9) celebrate after topping Vacaville Christian 3-0 on Thursday. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal



For the fourth year in a row Hilmar varsity volleyball has made the Division-IV Sac-Joaquin Section semifinal, this time after toppling Vacaville Christian at home on Thursday in a 3-0 sweep.

“I think this town puts out some really good athletes, they really do and a lot of these girls, I can see the road and it just keeps coming,” said Hilmar head coach Patti Harris who has been there through it all. “I just feel so lucky to have this because a lot of schools don’t.”

Hilmar has made the D-IV Section Championship game for the last three consecutive years, having lost all to Sonora. This year, Sonora is up a Division, so the ‘Jackets don’t need to worry about them.

They did have to worry about VC on Thursday but they played ready, with the exception of one miscue and a sick player in Olivia Peterson.

The opening set started off with a missed serve from Kassidy Mendes, she then shared some words with coach Harris.

“Kass missed it and said every time she does that, we go through a rollercoaster and I put her there for a reason,” said Harris. “We missed a lot of serves, which we haven’t done too often and were a bit tight.”

There was a total of eight missed serves for the game.

None of them fazed the ‘Jackets who came out with a 25-18 win over the Falcons after closing it with a 4-0 run backed by the power of outside hitter Mariah Ahid and the finesse of setter Hannah Pearce.

“The girls have been doing well all season. They worked hard. To see where we started and ended, they are doing great. The girls have improved a lot and are playing well,” said Harris.

Ahid finished the game with a team-high 16 kills, while Pearce dished out a game-high 26 assists, many times working the perimeter like a pro.

The next two games were smoother than the first as they went on a 25-13 and a 25-12 win to come out on top and into the semi.

“This gives us momentum, but I told the girls they can’t go and stop,” said Harris of the win.

Erin Benning added three aces and three blocks. Kassidy Mendez added 14 digs.

Next is the No. 3 seed Bret Harte, who is ranked 305 in California. Hilmar was ranked 304 prior to Thursday’s game.  Hilmar will host Bret Harte at 7 p.m. Tuesday.