By GERARDO RECINOS
A season ago we were talking about winning the girls volleyball team winning a pair of games in league play and loving life.
Here we are a year later and not only have the Bulldogs won all their league games, but as of their Oct. 6 win over Clayton Valley, they’ve won every single set!
Before the clash, coach Willie Marchesano said he felt Clayton Valley would be their biggest test of the season. He complimented the Eagles, saying they were going to be the team who could thwart the team’s quest to a league title.
And the Eagles did contain the Bulldogs for a while. Their first set of the match against the Eagles saw Clayton Valley Charter take a lead.
After the Bulldogs finished off a long rally with a kill by Erin Silva, everything looked bright. But Clayton Valley reeled off two kills and a pair of aces by Erika Scheafer and a kill by Morgan McClain.
The Bulldogs answered back with an 8-1 run to get back in front. They had a nice tip over by Audrey Pardini who picked a nice spot with her shot. Silva followed with a back-row kill, and Gabby Chase had one of her own straight after.
Alhambra took the lead thanks due to five straight mistakes by the Eagles, but that allowed kills from Leslie Roofener and Makenzie Salva to get the win.
In the second set, there wasn’t much of a fight by Clayton Valley, and that was mostly due to a hot start by the Bulldogs, and on player in particular.
Chase started off her effort in the set with some nasty service. She reeled off some serves with a ton of dip, knuckling shots. She collected four straight aces, and really sparked the Bulldog lead.
At no point after that did the Bulldog relent their lead. Alhambra was working in all aspects of their game. At one point the Bulldogs were setting up fantastic moves. Sterling Parker dropped a perfectly-executed running kill, going across her body to pick a spot on the opposite side of the court for the kill.
A 5-0 run by Clayton Valley forced the Bulldogs to take a deep breath before Silva got another one of her five kills on the night to win the second set.
In the third set the Bulldogs once again opened up a big lead, with consecutive aces by Salva. The senior captain had six aces on the night.
For the rest of the set the Bulldogs just cruised to the finish line without much fight from the Eagles. It made it all the more special when they finished off the set and won their seventh out of eight matches.
The Bulldogs have only five matches left on their schedule, and all against opponents they’ve already beaten. At 12-6, the Bulldogs have already qualified for North Coast Section, and are ahead of the pace that lead them to a 19-10 record that earned them a number nine seed in last season’s playoffs.