Dartmouth’s volleyball girls defeated Diamond Valley to win The Valley League championship for the fourth year running
■ Corey Evan / Sports Reporter
Any great athlete knows to start when they’re young. To start in front of a crowd helps, believe it or not. And to start out on a championship team? Perfect. That was the start the young lady Knights of Dartmouth Middle School got to experience last Thursday, as they welcomed the Diamond Valley Diamondbacks for a game of volleyball. But this wasn’t just any game…this was for the championship. Dartmouth went into this contest a three-time championship team. Could the Diamondback underdogs slither their way into the history books?
Dartmouth served first, and quickly drew first blood before surging ahead. The Diamondbacks almost managed to rally back before Dartmouth rocketed ahead and won set one, 25-18.
The Diamondbacks appeared to make a comeback in the second set, briefly holding the lead before the Knights came back to take over the lead and gallop into their fourth championship in a row, winning this set 25-21.
Those contributing the most to this “Knightly” win were Jacey Goldbach, Jaden Cordova, Rylee Blanton, Morgan Yodites, Brooke Scribner, Bailey Peterson, Josephine Springer and Abishay Forys.
Dartmouth coach Tracy Marshall was very proud of her girls on Thursday.
“Our championship game against Diamond Valley was an exciting, competitive game and our girls came out relaxed and hungry to finish the season out on top,” said Marshall. “The talent and pure desire these ladies have to play at such a high level shows their true dedication and they definitely play to win. The serving, passing, hitting, blocking, and digging proved to be second to none and I look forward to seeing these ladies as they progress in their volleyball careers. Way to go Lady Knights on our fourth championship in a row!”
According to Marshall, seven of her girls will be heading to Hemet High in the 2018-19 school year. After a fourth consecutive Dartmouth win, one would be justified in believing the Bulldogs’ teams are in safe hands for the foreseeable future.
Elsewhere in middle school sports:
San Jacinto’s Monte Vista Bobcats met up at Hemet’s Rancho Viejo for the flag football championship last Thursday, and it was a close one: At the last possible moment, the Rancho Viejo Mavericks intercepted a Bobcat play to take the championship 8-2.
Maverick coach Israel Marshall says this season was a nail-biter for him.
“This team faced a lot of adversity this season. From injuries to various struggles at home, it seemed like we might not even make playoffs,” said Marshall. “Midway through the year, we banded together, embraced the adversity, and pledged to fight through it. I am so proud of my players. I love my guys.”