Volleyball: Tracy, West on pace for first playoffs since 2005
by Bob Brownne
Oct 12, 2012 | 2561 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
West volleyball plays Stagg
West High’s Merinesa Saaga (right) takes her shot against the Stagg player during their match on Tuesday, Oct. 9.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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The West and Tracy volleyball teams finished the first half of their league seasons in third place in their respective leagues, which puts both teams on a pace to reach playoffs for the first time since 2005.

This year, instead of a power ratings system for volleyball, the Sac Joaquin Section will send each league’s top three teams and any teams who go .500 or better in league play to playoffs.

West would go into the Division I bracket and Tracy into the Division II bracket.

West 3, Stagg 0

The Wolf Pack (10-4, 3-2 TCAL) won their home match Tuesday, Oct. 9, against the Stagg Delta Queens with set scores of 25-19, 25-11, 25-12.

West faced a team that was strong at the net and able to collect its kill attempts to keep extended rallies going.

The West players expected to win and have higher expectations for the rest of the season, according to said junior outside hitter Merinesa Saaga.

“Our team is fighting hard to go to playoffs, so every win counts,” Saaga said.

West coach Christine Toon said the team is building its confidence for next week. The ’Pack hosts second-place Tokay on Tuesday, Oct. 16, and first-place St. Mary’s on Wednesday, Oct. 17, with the expectation that West can finish better than third place.

“Tokay is the big one,” Toon said. “Tokay is the one where they would like to make something happen.”

The first set against Stagg was close until the end, when Saaga and Kate Bell, each with five kills for the night, made shots to put West in front. Joelise Bondo, who had 12 kills for the night and seven blocks, helped keep West in the lead during the second set, and Saaga was strong at the net in the third set.

Kalani Vaughns had 30 assists for the night, in addition to 10 digs and five kills. Analyssa Eclevia had five kills, three aces and nine digs, and Megan Toon had eight digs.

Tracy 3, Bear Creek 1

The Bulldogs had to come back from a close loss in their first set at home Wednesday, Oct. 10, to preserve their standing in the league. Tracy (9-3, 3-2 SJAA) ended up winning it with set scores of 25-27, 25-15, 25-19, 26-24.

Tracy coach Mahina Tankersley said a win over the strong-hitting Bruin team was enough to give her team confidence to get to playoffs.

“If we continue to beat the teams we’ve beaten, we’re on a pretty good pace,” she said. “My girls just needed to learn how to come out strong and stay strong for the entire game.”

Sophomore Mika Fithian led her team’s offense with six aces, six kills and 18 assists, and senior Angela Mariani scored eight kills. Defensively, Casey Eddy had 15 digs, Julia Jurado had six digs and Michelle Laiolo had five digs.

Tracy’s sophomore team (12-0, 5-0 SJAA) reached the midway point of the league season with a perfect record as the Bulldogs beat the Bruins 2-1 with set scores of 25-11, 16-25, 15-9.

Venture Academy 3, Delta Charter 0

The Dragons (2-8 Mountain Valley League) took on visiting Venture Academy on Tuesday at Walnut Grove School in Patterson for a league loss. Venture won it with set scores on 25-17, 25-9, 25-22.

Delta Charter’s most recent win at home was against Don Pedro on Oct. 4. The Dragons won that one 3-1 with set scores of 25-17, 25-20, 15-25, 25-16.

Tracy 3, Chavez 0

Tracy High’s volleyball team beat Chavez High in Stockton on Monday, Oct. 8, as the Bulldogs near the halfway point of the San Joaquin Athletic Association.

Tracy (8-3, 2-2 SJAA) beat the Titans 3-0 with set scores of 25-12, 25-21, 25-14, with sophomore setter Mika Fithian leading the Bulldog’s offensive effort with five aces, five kills and 16 assists. Casey Eddy had 15 digs, Michelle Laiolo had six assists, Angela Mariani had six kills and Grace Murphy had five kills.

West 3, Edison 1

The visiting Edison team started off with a win in the first set Oct. 4 at West High. The Wolf Pack responded with three wins in a row to win the match with set scores of 19-25, 25-18, 26-24, 25-22.

Bondo recorded 15 kills and eight blocks; Eclevia had 18 digs, three aces and seven kills; Vaughns had 30 assists, 15 digs, four aces and six kills; Bell had 12 digs and three kills; and Toon had 15 digs and five kills.

• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or brownne@tracypress.com.
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