With one team already out of the Central Coast Section playoffs,
Hollister High has its biggest weekend of the year ahead.
With one team already out of the Central Coast Section playoffs, Hollister High has its biggest weekend of the year ahead.
Starting tonight with the Baler football contingent, the Hollister boys need to surprise Palma tonight at the Salinas Sports Complex to have a chance at a CCS playoff berth.
Other teams are on board and get busy on Saturday. The Baler girls volleyball team (29-4) is seeded third and takes on fellow Tri-County Athletic League member Live Oak (31-6), seeded No. 6, at North Salinas at 11 a.m.
Also in Salinas on Saturday, the Hollister boys and girls cross country teams are in the CCS Division I running at Toro Park. Girls, as it should be, go first at 1:30 p.m., while the boys go next at 2:05 p.m. Most of the premier runners in the section are in Division II, which runs following the Division I race.
And finally, the Hollister water polo team, seeded No. 3 at (19-5), takes on No. 6 Aragon of San Mateo (16-12) at St. Francis’ Holy Cross Aquatic Center at 1:20 p.m.
Hollister has defeated the Acorns three times this season, but Live Oak won a game in the Reno Tournament and at Morgan Hill during the league season.
“We have to play Live Oak as if we’re playing Mitty,” said Baler head coach Larry Nabzeska. “Live Oak’s a good team. They always give us trouble. I’m sure their coach, Laura Coleman, has been working this week on where she wants to attack us. She knows us so well. Of course, we know them and have been working on the same. Live Oak should be a fourth seed. They’re not a sixth seed. We have to be ready to play. If we aren’t, we’ll get beat. And there’s no tomorrow for us.”
The Balers scrimmaged with Los Gatos Thursday night in Los Gatos. The Wildcats are the No. 1 seed in Division II’s seven-team field. Los Gatos’ first round opponent was disqualified Wednesday in what has been an epidemic of teams being DQ’d before the tournament even starts due to altering scores from tournaments.
“It’s good that Los Gatos is already in the semifinal, but I’d rather be playing,” said Nabzeska. “We need a match. Scrimmaging Los Gatos really helped. They’re a good team.”
Should the Balers beat the Acorns, it would be a semifinal showdown next Thursday at Santa Clara High with Mitty, which should take care of Aptos easily on Saturday. And should the Balers get past Mitty, St. Francis, the No. 1 team in the U.S., would loom.
Nabzeska isn’t counting out a dream date with destiny, which would include a trip to the state final match at Cypress College in Los Angeles on Dec. 7.
“Stranger things have happened,” he said.
Should the Dons of Aragon knock off the Baler boys in water polo, that would be strange. At least, Hollister head coach Tom Agan is confident.
“We should be OK,” said Agan. “We’re healthy.”
Not much is known about the Dons, who played in the CCS Division I tournament a year ago, losing in the quarterfinals to Monta Vista 10-9. Hollister was last in the tournament in 1999, when it was dismantled by Live Oak 26-11 in the first round.
The Dons play in the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division and led by high-scoring Sho Yamazaki.
A Baler victory would probably pit them in Tuesday’s semifinal against No. 2 seed St. Francis – a rough assignment for Hollister. That game would be played at Independence High in San Jose. The time has yet to be determined.
The only mystery with the Hollister girls cross country team is who will be the seventh runner. As of Monday, coach Jennifer Logue wasn’t sure if it was Jamila Saqqa or Ambur Cameron. The rest of the Baler lineup consists of Lee Ann Morales, Kory Case, Nereyda Garcia, Katherine Parker, Teralynn Hill and Briana Colorado.
The Baler boys lineup is set with Isidro Trujillo, Jonathan Rivera, Josh Vasquez, Victor Hernandez, Jeff Spencer, Kyle Fowles and Patrick Hansen.
Boys coach Randy Logue expects Bellarmine, Serra, Milpitas, Salinas and Silver Creek to be Hollister’s chief competitors.
In the girls’ D-I, it’s Milpitas and Salinas next.