With the win on Wednesday night, the Hilmar High varsity volleyball team is just one win away from finishing undefeated in the Trans Valley League for a third consecutive year.
Senior night went well for the Yellowjackets in their final home league contest this year when they hosted Modesto Christian in the team’s penultimate game.
Hilmar’s dominance of the TVL has been evident all season long and Wednesday was no different, controlling the tempo and pace of the game from the beginning till the end to win it 3-0, (25-12, 25-5 and 25-9).
“We came out pretty confident because we knew how MC played, but we did not want to let up so much because you never know what can happen,” said Hilmar senior Riley Souza, who finished with eight aces. “But really for the most part we had fun with it being senior night and winning.”
“It’s senior night,” said Hilmar head coach Patti Harris. “They all get excited to play and I played all my seniors in all games because it is the final home league game. We went out and worked on some different things and saw some different things we are working on to get ready for playoffs.”
But before doing so, Hilmar must face Escalon who is in second place with a 9-2 TVL record.
The Yellowjackets have not lost a league game since Oct. 23, 2012 when Escalon beat the Yellowjackets 3-1.
Since that game, Hilmar has gone on to win 34 straight TVL contests, including, now after this season, three straight league titles. With Wednesday’s win Hilmar is now 32-6 overall and 11-0 in the TVL.
“I couldn’t be any prouder of these girls and how hard we work and how we play every year especially during that streak,” said Harris, who has led her team to three straight seasons of 30-plus wins.
Wednesday’s game not only kept the streak alive but the ‘Jackets also managed to play the majority of their roster and work on plays that they had not been able to do recently.
“We were trying to speed up the game and we are working on that which is what we did tonight,” said Harris. “We tried to mix it up and do quick sets. They did a good job, you saw their hits, and they did a great job.”
Luckily with the help of the six seniors on the team, Hilmar was able to execute their plan and pull off a convincing win in all three sets.
Emily Baptista finished with 15 kills, Hannah Pearce tacked on 29 assists and Avery Martin had a team-high 14 digs.
“What we try to do in games is we try to pull away with the lead as much as we can and focus in practice and practice as hard as we can,” said Hilmar senior Sara Theodozio. “We just had to focus on the basics because we knew it’d be challenging since they are scrappy. We just need to keep this up.”
“We have to be on our toes against Escalon,” Harris added.