El Capitan sophomore Jenasis Yarrell was in her AP biology class back at school when she got the call her tennis match was starting right away.
The Gauchos coaches thought the Central California Conference singles finals was going to start at 3 p.m. on Thursday afternoon at Buhach Colony High. The only problem is the match was supposed to start at 11 a.m. That started a mad scramble to get Yarrell from El Capitan High to Buhach Colony to play the match.
“It was very nerve racking,” Yarrell said. “Everything happened really fast. I quickly packed up. I had to tell my teacher I had to go. I had to make sure the rest of my teachers knew I had to leave.”
After a meeting between coaches and athletic directors, it was decided that Golden Valley senior Chadue Lee would start with a 3-0 lead in the first set as a penalty assessed to Yarrell.
Lee won the first set 6-1, but Yarrell came back to win the second and third sets to win her second consecutive CCC singles championship 1-6, 6-1, 6-1. It was the first set Yarrell had dropped this season in conference play.
“I was so nervous,” Yarrell said. “I was worried going down because of the penalty. I felt really rushed. At first I was really shook by it, but eventually I got into a groove and I warmed up. I got a feel for the game. I had to calm myself down.”
Both Yarrell and Lee, who squared off in the CCC finals for the second consecutive year, will advance to next week’s Sac-Joaquin Section tournament.
Yarrell missed last year’s tournament because of an illness.
“I’m very excited,” Yarrell said. “This time I’m actually going to be there.”
Liu repeats as WAC champion for fourth consecutive year
Los Banos High senior Shirley Liu capped off her fourth consecutive Western Athletic Conference singles championship with a 6-0, 6-1 win over teammate Haley Ballez in the conference finals at Los Banos High on Thursday.
Liu has gone undefeated in conference play all four years at Los Banos.
Buhach Colony water polo teams clinch titles
The Buhach Colony boys and girls water polo teams put the finishing touches on their CCC championships on Wednesday night.
The Thunder (11-1 CCC) defeated Atwater 11-8 to win the conference title outright at Atwater High. It’s Buhach Colony first CCC championship since 2008.
Luke Bird paced the Thunder with five goals and six steals. Joe Bustabade and Zach Fookes each added two goals and two assists.
The Buhach Colony girls defeated Atwater 13-6, which clinched a co-CCC championship with El Capitan at 11-1. It’s the Thunder’ first ever league championship.
Erin McBride finished with four goals, two assists and two steals for BC. Pam Solano added three goals and three assists.
Merced girls, Atwater boys win cross country championships
Both the Merced High girls and Atwater High boys finished off their back-to-back CCC cross country championship runs at Wednesday’s final conference center meet in Turlock.
After winning the first two center meets, the Atwater boys clinched the title with a second-place finish at Donnelly Park in Turlock. Falcons senior Abraham Maldonado led the way by finishing first individually with a time of 15 minutes and 27 seconds.
The Merced boys won the team event, led by Richard Cole McKain, who finished second overall with a time of 15:29.
The Bears girls team finished with a team score of 45 to edge out Atwater (48) to win their second straight CCC championship.
Merced’s Quinn Hagerman (17:52) and Ciara Colon (17:53) finished first and second, respectively.