Whoever has control of the ball is in control of the game. It’s true for all sports, but undoubtedly so for girls volleyball.
Clovis West Head Coach Rhonda DeRuiter preached this lesson to her team at practice and saw positive results in a dominant three-set victory over Bullard Tuesday night. Clovis West won 25-11, 25-17 and 25-14.
The Golden Eagles limited their mistakes and kept long rallies going against a Knights team that often failed to respond. Clovis West was in control for most of the match and DeRuiter was proud of her girls.
“Our team has focused on ball control in practice and it has come along faster than I had expected,” she said. “That makes me very happy and it also makes our team’s hitters very happy too.”
Whoever it was that played front hitter for Clovis West on Tuesday enjoyed clean passes and easy looks at the net. Momo Hebert, Tori Landen, Alexandria Wright and Jill Penner all rotated through the two front hitter positions and all four brought relentless pressure on Bullard’s blockers.
The combination of ball control and strong hitting led to a dominant 25-11 win in the first set for the Clovis West girls. After their dominant start, things got interesting in the second set for the Golden Eagles.
Clovis West got off to another hot start, but the tables suddenly turned on them. After being up 17-7, they started making simple mistakes, while Bullard began communicating more and getting into position for powerful kills.
Bullard closed the gap to as close as 21-16, before losing four of the last five points of the set. Clovis West survived the scare, 25-17.
Bulled managed to salvage some momentum into the 3rd set and even led early in the set.
However, an avalanche of kills and aces from the Golden Eagles, along with more mistakes from the Knights, doomed Bullard. They went on to lose the set – and match – by a score of 25-14.
Overall, Clovis West’s front hitters had a good night; Landen collected a game-high 16 kills, Hebert totaled 6 kills and 22 assists, while Penner scored 6 kills and 7 aces.
Now, Clovis West (2-0) has a quick turnaround with a match at home against Centennial on Wednesday night. Meanwhile, Bullard (0-1) will seek its first win of the season at its home opener against Redwood on Thursday.
The Broncos girls volleyball team also got a win last night after they defeated Yosemite in three-straight sets to move to 2-0 on the new season.
On Tuesday night, the Buchanan Bears matched up with Liberty-Bakersfield and lost three-straight sets 3-0. Liberty took all three sets; 25-11, 25-22 and 25-20.
The Timberwolves’ girls volleyball team was also in action Tuesday night, where they faced Golden Valley-Merced in a non-conference game. Clovis East took all three sets; 25-21, 25-13 and 25-13.