VISALIA, Calif. — Three local Bakersfield girls volleyball teams were playing for a chance to bring home a valley championship on Saturday night at the College of the Sequoias in the Central Section of the CIF.
In Division 2, No. 4 Bakersfield Christian Eagles taking on No. 3 Stockdale after both teams pulled off upset wins on the road in the semifinals.
Although the Eagles took the first two sets, Stockdale would go on to win two straight forcing a fifth and final set.
It was a back and forth battle as the teams would continually answer each other runs before BCHS senior Temi Sule gets the final point with a block to seal the 18-16 set win as the Eagles claimed a valley championship with a 3-2 victory.
“It was a victory that no one thought we could have gotten and we really worked hard for it, something well deserved and I really enjoy that feeling, it was so good," BCHS senior middle blocker Sule said.
“What we had that was really important was a lot of heart like this was our main goal and we knew it, so we knew we had to fight for it. It still feels unbelievable like I can’t believe it. It’s amazing," BCHS junior defensive specialist Gwyneth Bouma said.
While the eagles celebrated, the Mustangs were on the other end of the emotions while remembering what their team accomplished to make it to that match.
“I’m so proud, especially from coming from last season to now we’ve just worked so hard for it so I can just say that I’m really proud of the team and how we showed up tonight," Stockdale senior middle blocker Kami Marion said.
“We were pretty rock bottom last year and to be here now it’s super impressive. I’m so proud of all their work and their diligence to be here and more importantly to out themselves in a two game hole and not give up, they never quit," Stockdale Head Coach Maria Collatz said.
In Division One, the No. 2 seeded Liberty Patriots who shared the league title with the mustangs were facing No. 4 Clovis West in a rematch looking for redemption on the Golden Eagles.
Falling behind early in the first with a 25-12 loss, the patriots followed that up with a resilient two set wins
Clovis West would force a game five with a comeback win in the fourth, and then the Golden Eagles went on a run that Liberty had trouble answering.
On a 4-0 run Clovis West would close it out with a 15-10 win over Liberty despite the Patriots come-from-behind effort following a rough start to the match.
The ladies remained positive on the court as they were crowned D1 runner-ups.
“We knew that this was going to be a long game and honestly I think we are pretty proud of ourselves and pretty proud of the way we played, we left it all on the court and that’s what we knew we had to do in order to be OK with how we played," Liberty junior middle blocker Bree Rodriguez said.
“We knew this wasn’t the end for us, we really just continue this on. Our state paths we’ve been taking haven’t been too successful but we know this year we just want this title and we want to go into state really confident and just blazing out so I hope we can do that," Liberty senior libero Jaleesa Caroccio said.
All three teams will now have a shot at playing for a state title starting on Tuesday.