SHINGLE SPRINGS — Two of three phrases are complete for the Ponderosa High volleyball team.
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Phase one was for the Lady Bruins to win half of their nonleague matches. Phase No. 2 ended inside the Bruins’ gym Monday in the Delta River League finale when Ponderosa (4-6, 16-17) swept Sheldon, 25-7, 25-6, 25-10 on Senior Night.
Bruin Megan Jones, Kenna Davidson and Sarah Walker were honored along with Sheldon’s seniors Ashley Canas and Cheyenne Meraz. Collages of each Bruin hung inside the gym.
“It was fun,” Jones said.
Ponderosa coach Sheri Millhollin added, “You can tell they are impact players for us, which is what you expect from our seniors. They have grown a lot throughout the year. All three are really good servers.”
The Bruins jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the first set behind two aces from Jones and kills from Walker and outside hitter Paris Backston. Ponderosa continued to build its lead to 14-4, then 19-5 en route to the win.
In the second set, Jones, Walker and Kassie McGill recorded kills, plus two aces from setter Nicole Banke led to the Bruins’ 13-0 lead. After the Huskies (0-10, 0-15) called for time, the Bruins finished the set with a 12-6 run for the win.
Sheldon led 3-0 in the third set before Millhollin stopped play. When action resumed, Ponderosa went back to dominating — outscoring Sheldon 10-1 for the lead and eventual win.
Millhollin was pleased with her team’s hustle on defense in the first two sets that included three blocked shots from Lauren Williams, Christine McDavid and McGill.
“Our defense has improved,” Millhollin said.
Jones felt that the Bruins were more than ready for the Huskies this time than in last month’s first meeting that resulted in Ponderosa winning in straight sets.
“I think the first time around we played down to their level; it was just hard to keep up,” Jones said. “This time we played a lot better.”
Walker finished with four kills in the match for the Bruins. Jones, Alexa Carcione and McDavid had two each. Banke had 13 assists. Davidson had 11 digs, Jones seven, McGill and Erin Fogarty five each, Banke and McDavid four each and Williams, Carcione and Backston one each.
The third and final phase starts tomorrow in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
“It comes down to how much we want it and how good our serving is,” Millhollin said. “Serving is our biggest weapon.”
Jones added, “We’re excited. We’re just going to give it our all.”
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.