Lady Tigers outlast the Titans

Girls Volleyball: San Jacinto stage amazing comeback against Tahquitz last Wednesday, 3-2

Photos by Corey Evan
Teammates from the San Jacinto High volleyball team are all smiles after winning on Senior Night.

■ By Corey Evan / Reporter

Senior Night can be an emotional time for many high school athletes. And it’s not just the pressure of the last home game of the season, but also realizing that it’s their last home game with teammates they may have played alongside since they were tots. Every one of those emotions could be felt at San Jacinto High School on Wednesday, Oct. 10, as their girls volleyball team held their Senior Night alongside the visiting Tahquitz Titans. The Tigers went into this with a record of 10-14 and 2-7, the Titans 8-18 and 1-8. This senior night was a match for senior pride.
The Tigers served first in this after-school special, and got off to an early lead. But then the Titans came alive and made this a game, overtaking the Tigers and propelling themselves to a 25-18 win in the first set.
But not content with being beaten on their home court, the Tigers tried to anticipate their tough opponents going into set two; The girls in orange scored six points before the greenbacks got their first. But throughout this set, the Titans would creep in slowly, scorewise. The Tigers tried to anticipate, but couldn’t prevent, a Titan win in set two. But this time it was much closer; 25-22.

Action shot of the SJHS girls volleyball team playing against Tahquitz High.

Set three seemed liked deja vü for the Tigers, who once again took the early lead before the Titans began creeping in. But this time the Tigers buckled down and were able to hold off the Titans all the way to set point. After several failed attempts, the Tigers finally cashed in their first win of the match with a score of 25-19.
The fourth set became a matter of “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” in terms of the scoreboard. As the Tigers progressed through this set, the Titans followed close behind. But the Tigers pushed ahead just enough, taking set four 25-19 to force the match into a rare set five.
The match was too close to call at this point; from the onset, this set stayed a one-point game, the lead changing hands several times. But at the last moment, the Tigers pushed ahead 15-12 to win the match.
While his Tigers would be out of the running for the CIF playoffs, Coach Cory Sumrall is proud of what his girls accomplished today: “First set, it was just ‘Have fun, don’t even worry about, don’t care about the scores’… After that, then we got serious. In my starting lineup, it took them a little bit to get acclimated, and from there on out we were able to come back and win.”
The Tigers finished this season with a Mountain Pass league record of just 2-7 and an overall run of 11-14. But the Wednesday night game was all about celebrating the 2019 senior players: Angelina Alpirez, Alexis Beck, Lynette Blancas, Lola Laniyi, Dejah Outland, Brisa Sanchez and Magnolia Worthington.
The Titans go home from this match with a league tally of 1-8 and a total of 8-18.
Elsewhere in volleyball:
The Hemet Bulldogs finished their season strong against the West Valley Mustangs, winning this match 3-nil and going 10-0 in league and 25-7 overall. In short, the Bulldogs are the 2018 Mountain Pass league champs. The Mustangs are 7-3 and 20-6. Both teams have secured spots in the playoffs.
Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for our postseason coverage right here in The Valley Chronicle!

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