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Turlock volleyball squad topples Merced 3-0
Turlock volley
Freshman Jadyn Tubbs of Turlock goes for a strike during Wednesdays 3-0 home victory over Merced. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal

The Turlock High varsity volleyball team bounced back from their 3-2 loss to Atwater on Monday with a 3-0, (25-19, 25-20 and 27-25) victory over Merced on Wednesday. The ‘Dogs are now 3-1 in the Central California Conference, making it their best start in league since the 2006 season.

“We have just tried to take it one day at a time and not worry about the past records,” said Turlock head coach Amber Castillon.

In the first set, the Bulldogs and Bears seemed evenly matched with a tight start but the ‘Dogs pulled away with a win and the second and third sets seemed destined to go the Bulldogs way.

“It’s hard for teams because we always have a strong outside hitter and in the front as well, they can also hit from the back row,” said Castillon. “It causes them a lot of problems, whoever we are playing.”

Victoria Larsen of Turlock finished the third and final set with a kill as the ‘Dogs won their 13th match of the year, making it four wins out of the last five.

Larsen topped out the game with a game-high 15 kills and added on 11 digs and three aces.

“All the success we have had early on is just going back on the girls. They are the ones who put in the time and work,” said Castillon. “It is a reflection of the players. Everyone single one of them is just awesome and they are working so well together and we have a lot of weapons.”

The Bulldogs have so many weapons at every age group that even coach Castillon’s two freshman have made major contributions early on in the season.

Jadyn Tubbs and Julia Handy have been superb and were once again on it tonight after each finished with great numbers.

Tubbs finished the night with eight digs and nine kills, constantly saving many hits from ending a set.

Handy would finish the game with 31 assists, 10 digs and two kills.

The first match saw the Bears nearly come back as they trailed by only one with a score of 18-17.

Turlock called a timeout and they ended up trouncing Merced by six in the first.

The second and third sets were very close, with both wins coming by a combined seven points, but it was enough to secure their third CCC win in straight sets.

“There is joy! Just joy all around and we are having fun. Win or lose, our girls have played well and it is all momentum,” Castillon said. “It can get away but I am so proud of how the girls are playing and very fortunate to work with the great staff we have.”

Turlock is now 13-5 overall heading into next week’s crosstown rivalry with Pitman.

Turlock and Pitman will square off next week with the game set to be played at Turlock High at 4 p.m. Monday.

“The girls are happy for their success and will play Pitman tough. We have our own strategy on how we want to approach Pitman,” Castillon added. “It is always different when we play; you can feel it in the gym.”