Clovis North Girls Volleyball won a thrilling five-set match on Tuesday to advance into the next round of the state playoffs. The Broncos defeated Carondelet High School (Concord, Calif.) 25-23, 25-22, 23-25, 18-25, 16-14 in a match that showed the Broncos could indeed rebound from their stunning loss at home to Clovis West in last week’s valley semi-finals.
With the Broncos down 14-15 in the fifth set and facing the potential end of their season, senior and team captain Megan Crecelius, prepared to serve. Crecelius delivered not one but two aces that wholly switched the energy in the room and gave Clovis North a match point of their own.
Clovis North took advantage of that match point quickly and found the game-sealing point on the next rally. The Broncos are now one of eight teams remaining on the Northern side of the bracket and will travel to play top-seeded Campolindo High School (Moraga, Calif.) on Nov. 14.
At one point in the night, the Broncos kept a rally alive by throwing their foot towards the falling ball to keep it off the ground and each team took numerous net violation penalties as they vied for control of the front lines.
It was emblematic of the competitive night that came to a fitting conclusion in the dramatic fifth set.
Clovis North took the first two sets of the night but both were won despite serious challenges from Carondelet blockers. The Carondelet defensive front often seemed larger-than-life during most of the Broncos’ kill attempts in the early stages of the match.
Even when the blockers could not get a solid hand on the ball, a tip would often buy enough time for a teammate to keep the play alive. Despite this, the Broncos managed to close out the first two sets and looked destined for a smooth night.
Carondelet took the third set in a manner similar to how Clovis North took their first two, however; neither side had a clear advantage and the side that won the set did so with a thin margin and not that many points in their pocket to spare.
Clovis North would lead the fourth set 2-1 but that was the only point in the set where the Broncos led.
Compared to the first two sets, the fourth set seemed like a blowout. Carondelet opened up a seven-point lead — one of the largest of the nights — the Broncos took two timeouts that did little to slow the momentum and Carondelet forced a fifth set that they had all the momentum going into.
The Broncos, however, would win the fifth set and take one step closer to the state finals.