The way Ken Shaw puts it, his Stone Ridge Christian High volleyball team will get excited just about anything.
When asked to characterize his group of girls this year, the Knights coach’s first three words were: emotional, energetic and loud.
“If someone is down on the court someone on the bench will be screaming and yelling to pick her right up,” Shaw said.
Imagine the Knights excitement to get another crack at Woodland Christian. The Cardinals have denied SRC it’s first volleyball blue banner the past two years in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI finals. Woodland Christian also defeated Stone Ridge Christian in the NorCal Regional Division VI finals last year.
Fourth-seeded Stone Ridge Christian earned a rematch with top-seed Woodland Christian on Tuesday in the semifinals with a 25-12, 25-20, 25-15 sweep over No. 5 Valley Christian (Roseville) on Thursday night.
“We’ve been talking about Woodland Christian all year,” said Shaw, who has led the Knights to the section finals the past four seasons, but they are still trying to win their first section title. “We thought we would meet them in the finals but it turns out we’ll play them in the semifinals. Our whole demeanor has been to get ready for Woodland.”
The Knights (23-8) didn’t have to shift out of cruise control against Valley Christian.
Morgan McCary led the way with 10 kills and Emily Ewing chipped in with two aces and 20 digs. Camryn Murphy finished with 16 assists.
“This team practices really hard, they know the game,” Shaw said. “I can just sit and watch. I don’t have to say much at all because they can figure it out. They are very volleyball savvy.”
Which means they all know what is at stake on Tuesday against Woodland Christian, which swept Forest Lake Christian 25-16, 25-9, 25-23 to improve to 25-4 this season.
“I’ve been looking forward to this all season,” said Stone Ridge Christian junior Sadi Tucker, who contributed seven kills against Valley Christian. “We’ve played them the last (two) years and come up second each time. We can’t wait to get another shot at them.”
The Knights are going to need big games out of Tucker and senior Sarah Jordan, who also played well on Thursday night with seven kills.
“We’ll go up and give them a run for their money,” Shaw said. “We know we have to play well. They’ve maybe graduated a few players the last couple years. They still have much of the same team and they are great.”
Ponderosa 3, Buhach Colony 2 in Shingle Springs – The eighth-seeded Thunder almost pulled off a giant upset before falling in five games to No. 1 seed Ponderosa 21-25, 25-17, 18-25, 26-24, 15-13 in the Division II playoffs.
Dos Palos 3, Golden Valley 0 in Dos Palos – Teya Vincent paced the Broncos with nine kills and six blocks as Dos Palos opened the Central Section Division IV playoffs with a 25-23, 25-18, 25-21 victory over Golden Valley of Bakersfield. Grace Schofield added 18 assists and two aces for the Broncos.