The season is unfortunately over for the Hilmar High volleyball team.
The end comes after the No. 10 Yellowjackets lost to No. 7 Lick-Wilmerding in the first round of the Division IV CIF State tournament in a 3-0 sweep in Wednesday's road contest.
“Great season. It's always an honor to make it to Sections and the Nor Cal game. A long hard road,” said Hilmar head coach Patti Harris.
That could be an understatement as the 'Jackets had to deal with a young roster that saw only three seniors on the squad play on a consistent basis.
They defied the odds when everyone in league perhaps had them out of the top three contenders. Hilmar finished in second place in the Trans-Valley League next to Ripon at 10-2, and both went on to face off against one another in the D-IV Section finale.
“A young team who defied the odds and surprised many people in what they accomplished this season. Very proud of these girls and the team they created,” said Harris.
This year is still regarded as a huge success for a volleyball program that has done nothing except stay consistent year in and year out with head coach Harris at the helm. They have made the Division IV Sac-Joaquin Section Championship game the last four years.
Since becoming head coach in 2009, Harris has led the Yellowjackets into the playoffs for eight consecutive seasons.
The team was very fortunate and thankful to have made the finale and they gave all they could in a 25-20, 25-23 and 25-17 decision.
Hilmar's Mariah Ahid tallied 11 kills. Hannah Pearce finished with 21 assists. Erin Benning tallied four blocks and Miranda Gray added 18 digs. Julia Gonsalves and Ahid added an ace apiece.
Now it looks like the 'Jackets will return a bulk of their starters, losing just two regular starters for the upcoming season.
“Yes the foundation is cured and with the many talented girls coming up it will add to the strength already in place,” said Harris.
Hilmar finishes the year with a 23-14 overall record.