Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Liberty outside hitter Zoey Richey reaches up to put down one of her seven kills in Tuesday’s win over Washington Union in the team’s annual Dig Pink game.
The Liberty Hawks girls volleyball team was enjoying its best start in school history, beginning 21-0, rising up to No. 16 in the Central Section rankings and opened up North Sequoia League play with a three-set victory over Washington Union-Easton.
However, the run hit a speed bump Thursday night in a three-set loss to Yosemite-Oakhurst. Playing without head coach Brandon St. Lucia this week because of teacher training, the Hawks lost 25-18, 25-13, 25-18 for their first loss of the season after winning the first 22 matches.
Hannah Chase put down a game-high 18 hills for the Hawks in the team’s annual Dig Pink, raising funds for breast cancer awareness Tuesday against Washington Union.
Zoey Richey added seven kills while Madison Devine and Karsyn Woods each had five against the Panthers.
Despite committing 14 service errors in the three-set victory, the Hawks were in control of the game from the beginning.
Devine opened the game with an ace and added a back row kill for a 4-0 lead.
After a Chase side out kill, Paige Peterson served up two aces. Chase, Woods, Richey and Olivia Kaczmarek put down side out kills for an 11-7 lead. Devine got a dump kill for a 13-7 lead.
Chase put down two side out kills and Richey added another. However, two Liberty service errors couldn’t give the Hawks any momentum. However, Washington Union missed two serves for an 18-13 Liberty lead.
Richey went back to serve and didn’t stop until the set was over. Richey served an ace and Kaczmarek added a kill. Kills by woods and Kaczmarek opened a 23-13 lead.
Richey served up two more aces and the Hawks closed out the first set with a 25-13 victory.
In the second set, Chase scored three of the first five points with side out kills. Woods and Devine put down kills for a 6-5 lead.
Washington Union had two three-point runs to take a 12-8 lead.
However, a two Chase side out kills, two kills from Richey and two more from Woods gave the Hawks a 15-14 lead.
After a Panthers side out, Richey gave the Hawks the serve with a kill. Kaczmarek put down a kill and Woods combined with Devine for a block and a 19-15 lead.
Washington Union battled back to cut Liberty’s lead to 20-18.
Woods got the serve back with a side out kill. Devine followed with another kill for a four-point lead. After Washington Union got the side out and an ace to cut the lead to two, Chase put down a side out kill. After another Panthers side out, Richey put down a side out kill for a 24-20 lead and set point.
However, a service error gave the Panthers the serve, but Woods finished the set with a kill for a 25-21 win.
Devine had an ace and kill in a three-point run to open the third set. Chase added a kill for a 4-0 lead.
The Panthers battled back to cut the lead to one, but Tiffany Herron recorded a solo block and Chase added an ace for a 7-4 Liberty lead.
The Panthers tied the set at seven, eight and nine after the Hawks missed two straight serves.
Richey added an ace in a three-point run for a 14-11 lead while Chase added another kill. The Panthers cut the lead to one before a Chase side out kill.
Chase added two more kills for an 18-15 lead. Woods put down two straight kills to open a 20-16 lead. She added a tip kill for a 21-17 lead. Woods put down another kill to score Liberty’s fourth straight point for a 22-18 lead.
Tayler Sefton served up three straight points including an ace and a Chase kill on match point for a 25-18 third set win to capture the match.