Rocklin advances to DII finals

By: Russ Edmondson The Placer Herald
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Rocklin High’s varsity volleyball team will battle St. Francis for the Sac-Joaquin Section, Division II championship today at UC Davis. Rocklin is the top seed in DII while St. Francis is No. 2. This will be the first meeting of the season between the two volleyball powers. The match is set to start at 8 p.m. “They are seeded that way for a reason,” said Rocklin coach Dave Muscarella about today’s match-up, not surprised that the top two seeds are playing. Rocklin beat visiting No. 13 Bella Vista on Tuesday night (25-12, 25-21, 25-18) to advance to the finals while St. Francis topped No. 3 Atwater (25-21, 25-23, 25-21). Bella Vista had knocked off No. 4 Yuba City and No. 5 Benicia to advance to the semifinals against Rocklin. “We just really needed to play consistent,” Muscarella said. “We saw them in warm-ups and felt that we just had to stop a few kids and we did that. We’re just playing stronger and stronger. I feel really good about the way we are playing right now.” Game 1 was back-and-forth and Rocklin led 11-10 before Thunder sophomore outside hitter Katelyn Ivy served for nine straight points. The teams were tied at 11 in Game 2 before Rocklin sophomore Cailyn Prewitt served for six consecutive points to give Rocklin a big advantage. Bella Vista fought back to tie at 18 but Rocklin closed the match 7-3. Rocklin jumped ahead 6-1 in Game 3 and rolled to the win. Rocklin beat visiting No. 9 Buhach Colony of Atwater (25-15, 25-7, 25-18) in three games on Nov. 12 to advance to the semifinal match against Bella Vista. Buhach Colony came out playing well in Game 1, led by six-foot, senior outside hitter Megan Callahan. “In the first game they came out really fired up,” Muscarella said. “(Callahan) was probably the best hitter on the floor, a very good player and the MVP of their league. They really came out strong with her and they gave her the ball quite a bit so we made some adjustments (during Game 1) to get our middles out there a little quicker.” Ivy, Prewitt and Olivia Lane were among the stars for the Thunder. “In the second game we came in and had complete control and were really rolling,” Muscarella said. “The subs came in in Game 3 and performed well.” Rocklin (31-7 overall) beat visiting Folsom in four games in the first round.