Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Liberty’s Hannah Chase rises up to send a kill past the Yosemite blocker. She recorded 15 kills in Thursday’s victory.
The Liberty Hawks girls volleyball team has visions of a Div. IV Valley Championship run.
However, if they come out playing like they did against the Yosemite-Oakhurst Badgers on Thursday, their run might come to a quick end.
The Hawks dropped the North Sequoia League match 25-21, 25-20, 25-16 at home and will look to the second round in Oakhurst to avenge the loss.
“We came out in game one fired up and dropped it at the end,” head coach Brandon St. Lucia said. “In game two, we were up, but got content and dropped it. It was unfortunate girls didn’t come to play tonight, didn’t come with heart and show up with any tenacity to play.”
The Hawks are familiar with the Badgers and St. Lucia and his players were ready for their hitters, but the Hawks were flummoxed all night long by the mixture of hard hitting and tips Yosemite was sending their way.
“We know what they were going to do,” St. Lucia said. “We knew everything. We prepped for it in practice yesterday. We just didn’t execute. The girls saw it, believe it and, hopefully, improve the next time we play them.”
On the other side of the court, the Hawks had a tough time with serve receive, therefore, led to an inconsistent night setting, which led to a tough time attacking.
Hannah Chase led the Hawks with 15 kills, which was two more than the entire team. Karsyn Woods and Zoey Richey each had four kills and Woods recorded four blocks.
Behind three straight Chase kills, the Hawks took a 9-7 lead in the first set. The Badgers battled back to turn the tables and lead 13-11.
A Richey kill and a Madison Devine dump kill tied the set at 13, but the Badgers took the lead 19-17.
A side out and a Chase kill tied the set, again, at 20. Yosemite closed the set by scoring five of the next seven points for a 25-21 victory.
In the second set, the Hawks took an early lead behind two Chase side out kills. A Sadie Vasquez solo block opened a 7-5 lead.
Paige Peterson served up an ace during a three-point run for an 11-6 lead. A dual block by Woods and Richey gave the Hawks the side out. Richey served an ace and Chase put down a tip kill for a 15-9 lead.
Yosemite came back with a six-point run to tie the set at 15. Liberty took the lead with a Woods kill. Two Chase kills kept the set tied at 18.
Once again, Yosemite closed the set on a run for the win. The Badgers scored eight of the next 10 points for a 25-20 victory.
The Badgers took control in the third set and kept the Hawks nested. The Badgers opened a five-point lead and the Hawks couldn’t respond.
Yosemite used a four-point run to open a 19-11 lead before the Hawks tried to come back. Side out kills from Richey and two from Chase kept the Hawks within nine.
A Paiten Harlow ace and a Chase solo block cut the lead to seven, but Yosemite scored the final two points for a 25-16 victory.
The Hawks had another tough match Tuesday with the Sierra-Tollhouse Chieftains before hosting Kerman on Thursday.