The fall season of 2017 brought forth multiple monumental moments in the Journal's coverage area, most notably were Turlock and Hilmar High's Sac Joaquin Section Championship runs in volleyball that saw multiple future collegiate players take the court and make history for their programs.
Among them were Jadyn Tubbs of Turlock and Hilmar High's Mariah Ahid, who as seniors, were undoubtedly the catalysts for their team's unforgettable runs, and both earned the honors as the 2017 Turlock Journal Co-Volleyball Players of the Year.
“It is awesome because I come from such a small school so being able to represent my small school is heartwarming cause you got big schools like Pitman and Turlock,” said Ahid.
“It is a huge honor to be recognized as one of the top volleyball players of the year in our area,” said Tubbs. “After a huge successful season with my team, it feels great to get this recognition to top off my senior year. There are so many successful female athletes in the area in my year and it truly means a lot to me to get this award.”
Tubbs was one of the staples for a Bulldog team that turned things around instantly the moment she stepped on the court as a freshman — along with Julia Handy — and helped lead the squad to the program’s first Division I SJS Championship after they beat St. Francis back on Nov. 11, 3-1.
As a senior, she went on to be part of the most successful 'Dogs team in program history that went 34-9 overall and captured their second Central California Conference title in three years after securing a perfect 12-0 league record. They dropped only two sets all year in 12 league contests.
“Each season, you could see the improvement in our entire team and this past run we had this season was an excellent season that showed just how hard we had all worked,” said Tubbs. “We made each other better every day and had no negative energy.
“These past four seasons have been a grind. I came in as a freshman with a lot of weight on my shoulder, along with Julia Handy,” she added. “We knew that we were underdogs, but we loved it. We knew that our time would come eventually after the hard work we put in.”
Tubbs capped off her senior year with 235 kills and 337 digs in 116 sets played. She served 95 percent with 38 aces. Passed 2.68 average, which is out of three. Her dig percentage was at .807.
In her four-year career, Turlock went 116-43 overall and 41-8 in CCC games.
Both Tubbs and Ahid also shared many similarities, including playing all four years at the varsity level, and even playing together before they both reached high school.
“In these last seven years of playing volleyball, I would have never pictured myself in the position I am in today, hearing that I was chosen for co-player of the year with Mariah,” Tubbs added. “She was on my first volleyball team ever. But more than anyone else, I have coaches and two extremely supportive parents and two siblings that always kept me on my toes to thank for helping me earn this award.”
Ahid closed out her senior year yielding 417 kills in 115 sets played along with 359 digs.
Of the 37 sets played in 12 TVL contests, Hilmar won 36 of them.
It was also the year that the 'Jackets finally secured the Division-IV SJS banner in their fifth straight appearance with a win over Bret Harte, 3-0, back on Nov. 11. Ahid was there for all four of the championship games — the good and the bad.
They also won all four of their first playoff games in straight sets leading to the title game against BH.
“It's an awesome feeling because thinking of the future, if I have a family I get to tell them I was a member of that team and I brought the first banner,” said Ahid. “This year we all clicked, no drama, we all knew we had a good connection and chemistry on the court and once we worked through the kinks we were unstoppable. We had a great bond and couldn’t have asked for a better team.”
Since her freshman year, Ahid and the Yellowjackets accumulated an overall record of 126-46 while the teams Trans-Valley League record during that four-year span was 44-2, including three perfect seasons in the TVL.
Ahid is scheduled to attend Dominican University and will play collegiate volleyball while Tubbs signed with the University of Pacific.
“I know heading in that I could be taking a spot as an outside hitter and fill some big shoes and contribute as much as I can my first year, since the former OH was the hammer,” Ahid added.
“Next year in college, my goal is to be the libero on that team,” Tubbs added. “It will take hard work, but I will work hard so that I start. I want to be able to go into the college atmosphere and be comfortable playing in big games. Coach Leal has helped prepare our team for those huge games.”
All-Area/All-Journal Volleyball Team
Co Players of the Year: Jadyn Tubbs (Turlock) and Mariah Ahid (Hilmar)
Julia Handy, setter
Jazmyn Tubbs, outside hitter
Erin Benning, middle blocker
Isabella Bush, middle blocker
Mary K. Padilla, outside hitter
Fallon Evans, libero
Emily Vander Weide, outside hitter
Hannah Pearce, setter
Cheyenne Souza, outside hitter
Audrey Dykzeul, opposite
Ariana Escobedo, setter
Sydney Mensonides, outside hitter and middle back
Junior, Turlock Christian
Liv Peterson, middle blocker
Julia Gonsalves, libero
Mikela Labno, outside hitter
Emma Hirschkorn, setter
Patti Harris, coach of the year