Perfect record in league’s inaugural season has women poised for
For a volleyball team desperate to return to the Central Coast
Section finals, the Tri County Athletic League season must have
seemed to drag on for the San Benito Haybalers.
Perfect record in league’s inaugural season has women poised for CCS playoffs
For a volleyball team desperate to return to the Central Coast Section finals, the Tri County Athletic League season must have seemed to drag on for the San Benito Haybalers.
Last week the Haybalers wrapped up their fourth consecutive league championship against the Salinas Cowboys in three games. There was no post game celebration.
In the following game against Notre Dame, the Tri County Athletic League champions swept the Spirits, one of two teams in league to take the Haybalers beyond three games. The win pushed its league record to a spotless 10-0.
Recently, the Central Coast Section announced the Haybalers would play as the No. 3 seed in its postseason tournament, which begins this Saturday.
Finally, some real action.
As luck would have it the Haybalers are slated to face arch nemesis Live Oak, a team San Benito has defeated four times so far this season.
The Haybalers and Acorns will square off at North Salinas High School in front of what will be a raucous crowd. First serve is 11 a.m.
“They are one of the few teams who have taken a game against us,” said Haybalers Coach Larry Nabzeska, who is retiring after this season.
If the Haybalers advance the squad will more than likely meet No. 2-seed Archbishop Mitty on Nov. 21 at Santa Clara in the semifinals.
Mitty, the two-time defending Division I champions, are the same team that bounced the Haybalers out of the championship game a year ago.
The St. Francis Lancers, rocked earlier this year when Coach Dave Gambelin left the six-time state champions amid allegations he was too controlling, are the No.1 seed in Division I.
The Lancers, however, are still the top-ranked team in the nation.
San Benito’s road to the CCS title and return to the California Interscholastic Federation state tournament will be a rough one.
The Haybalers, however, must concentrate on the task in front of them. After beating the Acorns four-consecutive times this year, pressure is on to win for a fifth.
In the team’s last meeting, a 3-1 win by the Haybalers at Live Oak, the Acorns vindicated a lifeless performance against San Benito in their previous encounter.
Although it took a 34-kill performance by Acorns outside hitter Kristina Conrad and a 49-assist night from setter Chelsea Carroll just to win one game, the Acorns must be confident.
The Haybalers were forced to pull out all of the stops in that game as Kim Dabo recorded 18 kills and 25 digs, Kaylie Kortsen chipped in 15 kills, 20 digs and 12 blocks and setter Jenny Denton had 53 assists.
If the Acorns can make the Haybalers work just as hard again and get a couple of lucky breaks, San Benito’s ride through the CCS playoffs may get cut short.
The Division I title game is Nov. 23 at West Valley College at 7 p.m.