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Buhach Colony volleyball perseveres

ATWATER -- In 19 years of coaching volleyball, Michelle Osmer has won eight league championships.

This one may have been the most rewarding.

Osmer's girls put the finishing touches on their first Central California Conference title in just BC's second year in the league with a 25-22, 25-15, 23-25, 25-14 win over Atwater on Wednesday night.

"This is the hardest we've ever had to work to win league," said Osmer, who has compiled a 223-59 career record since starting at Atwater in 1989.

"We basically had to start over with our hitters at the beginning of the season."

Players shuffled in and out of Osmer's lineup for various reasons this year.

Still, the wins kept coming.

"Our defense has been our strength and that's what helped us," said libero Kayla Clarot, who led the team with 25 digs and three aces.

"Our block has been a lot better since the beginning of the season."

BC's offense continues to improve. Middleblocker Alyssa Wakefield and

Rio Schwalbach finished with 12 kills apiece.

Kahea Smith led Atwater with 17 kills.

While Buhach was celebrating a title, Atwater (10-6) will have to wait to see if it qualified for the playoffs.

"This was a very important game," Atwater coach Sonny Masaniai said. "This was our chance to make the playoffs.

"We needed this much more than Buhach."

Buhach Colony (11-1 CCC, 12-5 overall) will open the playoffs at home on Tuesday.

It should give BC just enough time to celebrate.