Le Grand volleyball two wins from title

Bulldogs entertain Vacaville Christian in D-5 semis tonight

Sjansen@mercedsunstar.comNovember 12, 2012 

— At the end of Monday's practice, Le Grand coach Gia Pridell told her players to look around the gym.

She wanted them to see the blue section title banners hanging for everybody to see.

"They looked up at the walls and I asked them which one sport is missing," Pridell said. "Their first answer was golf. I said, 'Well, yeah. What other sport?

"They said, 'Volleyball.' That's when I told them we can change that. We can do it."

The Bulldogs (15-6) are just two wins away from winning a section championship.

Le Grand will try to take the next step tonight when it hosts Vacaville Christian in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 5 semifinals.

The match is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Le Grand has never played in a section title game. The Bulldogs made it to the semifinals last year before falling to Bradshaw Christian.

"It definitely means a lot for me," said senior setter Marissa Marchini. "When we looked at the banners in the gym, we realized we have a huge opportunity to get to the section finals.

"We're one of the only sports that hasn't won. We're so close. Just two wins away. It kind of hit us."

The eighth-seeded Bulldogs earned a home match after upsetting No. 1 seed Capital Christian in the second round. The No. 13 seed Vacaville Christian upset No. 4 Big Valley Christian and No. 12 Forest Hill Christian to earn its way to the semifinals.

Le Grand defeated Vacaville Christian in the first round of the playoffs last year.

"I think being at home is big," Pridell said. "We have an awesome community. When I'm walking down the street people are asking me what time the game is. I was letting the girls know our seventh man will be here supporting us."

The Bulldogs came so close to reaching the finals at U.C. Davis last year. This time they want to make that trip.

"Losing last year in the semifinals made us push harder," Marchini said. "We were so close we could touch it. We don't want to have that feeling of coming so close again and not going."

Merced Sun-Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service