It’s a perfect finish for Oakmont, Granite Bay
Granite Bay and Oakmont high schools needed victories Tuesday night to complete unbeaten seasons in the Sierra Foothill League and Capital Valley Conference. Roseville needed a win to get into the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
Granite Bay and Oakmont swept their matches, but Roseville lost at Del Oro 3-1.
“It’s so exciting,” Oakmont coach Shelby Weinberger said following the Vikings’ 25-15, 25-14, 25-20 victory over visiting Casa Roble. “The girls are super excited that we went undefeated.”
The Vikings (31-2 overall, 10-0 CVC) received their usual contributions from Katie Carte (16 kills, 13 digs), Kyra Rogers (eight kills), Brennah Gladwill (21 assists, nine digs) and Ally Wubben (17 assists).
But it’s the improved play of senior opposite Brie Shea (four kills), junior defensive specialists Allison Haack (six digs, three aces) and Sami Walters (11 digs) and junior middle Jackie Suffle that Weinberger believes will help Oakmont in the Division III playoffs.
“Others have stepped up and given us a deeper team,” Weinberger said. “The girls are impressed with how far the team has come. We’ve pushed them, and they’ve pushed our starters. We have options now.”
Granite Bay (35-5, 10-0 SFL) pounded Rocklin 25-15, 25-22, 26-24 to achieve a goal of going unbeaten at home in the regular season. The Grizzlies lost just one set in SFL play, to Roseville in the opener.
“After they dropped the first one to Roseville, it kind of bothered them so their goal was to take everybody in three,” Jamie Ingram said after the Grizzlies claimed the first league title in her four seasons as coach. “At the end of our match (Tuesday night), they said, ‘Coach, you always wanted a banner; now you have a banner.’ It really meant a lot for them to say that.”
Granite Bay rides the 1-2 knockout punch of junior hitters Maddy Deters and Nicolette Pinkney and junior setter Taylor Nelson, but like Oakmont, the Grizzlies have several players in other key roles as starters and reserves.
Seniors Kiah Drongesen and Kristin Kurpershoek have produced on defense, sophomore Brooke Hershberger has blossomed after moving to the right side, and senior Sami Perry complements Taylor.
Section playoff brackets were scheduled for release Thursday. Ingram said her players welcome every challenge.
“They look at it as status quo. No match is greater than any other match,” she said. “We have a job to do. We’re very fortunate in having 13 girls that understand that.”
Roseville (22-18, 4-6) needed one victory this week to qualify but lost at Nevada Union 3-1 one day before losing at Del Oro. The Tigers won the first set in each match and fought back from deficits in other sets. Inconsistency in execution hurt the Tigers.
“We just didn’t have the fire when we needed it,” coach Ron Grove said. “Our greatest strength is our greatest weakness. They are very nice, kind girls who were wonderful to coach. They got along as well as any team we have had. They just needed to be able to turn it on on the court more often.”
Roseville’s Jen Simon totaled 15 kills in her final two high school matches. Sophomores Abby Jensen (17 kills total) and Jessica Yaranon are among five starters who will return next season. Gabby Lyttle and Jayme Lee had seven kills each against Nevada Union, and Leslie Pease had seven kills and five blocks against Del Oro. All three are juniors.
“Experience will help,” Grove said. “We lose the senior leadership but will have people step up to fill the void.”
Contact Bill Poindexter at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at BillP_RsvPT.