Hemet High girls volleyball fended off Paloma Valley last Thursday 3-1
■ By Corey Evan / Reporter
Even when a school is bigger and newer than their more established rivals, the athletic prowess of said rivals can often be a stumbling block for them. That’s what Paloma Valley High School’s girls volleyball team found out when they came to play against the Hemet Bulldogs on Thursday, Sept. 13.
Set one started out close, with the Wildcats taking the first point before the Bulldogs. But despite a valiant effort by the Bulldogs, the Wildcats just kept pushing ahead and took this first set 25-19.
The Bulldogs got off to an even rougher start in set two, as the Wildcats took a commanding early lead. But then the Bulldogs finally found their footing and caught up with the Wildcats, keeping a one-point distance for much of the set. This second set would end up in Hemet’s court 25-21, to level out the standings 1-all.
Set three was where tides of change shifted in favor of Hemet, as the Wildcats lost their footing. The Bulldogs took the first three points of this set, put a eight-point difference between themselves and Paloma and never looked back. This third set belonged to Hemet 25-17.
The mood in the Ted Smith Sr. Gym swelled as set four began; Despite Wildcat fans emphasizing the ‘wild’ in ‘wildcat’, their team started off and remained in the Bulldogs’ dust. The Bulldogs would put away the match with this set, 25-10 to win 3-1.
According to Head Coach Joe Schnake, his Bulldogs had to make quite a few changes to make this win happen: “One of our starting outside players sadly was out with little bit of a minor injury, unfortunately. We had to put a freshman outside to play today and she did a good job.” Schnake informed that another starting player was out sick today, complicating things further.
But in the end, it was up to the girls to step up. “I just haven’t seen them play this good before, and so them being able to do that and play together was just a phenomenal thing for them to do!” said Schnake.
After this loss, the Wildcats’ are 14-3 for the season. With this win, Hemet jumps to 17-6 for the season and are 2-0 in the Mountain Pass League.