Sports

Roundup: El Capitan, Buhach Colony, Hilmar volleyball all open playoffs with wins

El Capitan’s Sierra Alvarez (16) and Yatzary Lua (8) go up to block the hit of Beyer’s Madeline Dibble during a playoff match on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019.
El Capitan’s Sierra Alvarez (16) and Yatzary Lua (8) go up to block the hit of Beyer’s Madeline Dibble during a playoff match on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019. Sjansen@mercedsun-star.com

After watching her El Capitan High girls volleyball team sweep Beyer in a the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs on Tuesday night, Gauchos coach Chela Moreno had five words.

“I did not like it,” Moreno said.

Moreno will take the playoff win, but the El Capitan coach knows her team will need to raise their level of play when they square off with No. 3 seed Christian Brothers on Thursday in the quarterfinals.

“I know my team. I know the potential they have, but sometimes we just have matches where we don’t play to our potential,” Moreno said. “Thursday night that’s not going to fly.”

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El Capitan senior Yatzary Lua goes up for a hit against Beyer in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff game on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019. Shawn Jansen Sjansen@mercedsun-star.com

The No. 6 seed Gauchos (29-10) were able to play well enough in spurts to hold off No. 11 Beyer 25-14, 25-23, 25-20.

Yatzary Lua finished with 18 kills and 17 digs to lead the Gauchos, who won their first Central California Conference championship this season. Natalie Collins added nine kills, 13 assists and 20 digs. Freshman Lean Mendoza racked up 19 digs and Allyson Saelee finished with 20 assists and three aces.

However, after winning easily in the first game the Gauchos found themselves being pushed in the final two games.

“I felt we came out strong in the first game,” Moreno said. “We did everything we talked about coming in with the tips, pushes and swings. In the second game we went away from that and we can’t do that.”

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The El Capitan girls volleyball team celebrates a point during their three-game sweep of Beyer in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019. Shawn Jansen Sjansen@mercedsun-star.com

The game against Christian Brothers will be a rematch of last year’s quarterfinal match won the Falcons 3-1.

“It seems like we always see each other in the second round of the playoffs,” Moreno said. “When the brackets came out last Friday, the first thing (Saelee), Natalie and Yatzy saw was Christian Brothers in the second round.”

Hilmar 3, Merced 0 in Hilmar — Olivia Peterson finished with 16 kills and Emma Martin added 34 assists as the No. 4 seeded Yellowjackets defeated the No. 11 Bears.

Buhach Colony 3, Ponderosa 2 in Atwater — The No. 8 seeded Thunder (21-10) rallied from a 14-11 deficit in the fifth game to defeat the No. 9 Bruins 25-17, 21-25, 25-14, 14-25, 16-14 in the Division II playoffs.

Buhach Colony will face No. 1 Tracy on Thursday in the quarterfinals.

Senior Miranda Baptista finished with 13 kills, 25 assists, 26 digs and three blocks to lead the Thunder. Maggie Seifert added 13 kills and 24 digs.

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