Sports: Girls Volleyball Plows Past San Benito, 3-0

Photo Credit: Liz King

The Bears come together after winning a point in the third set.

The third-seeded M-A volleyball team swept visiting San Benito in the CCS quarterfinals on Saturday night, 25-18, 28-26, 25-21. Led by co-captains Ali Spindt and Pauli King, the Bears managed to come out on top in each set despite back-and-forth play.

The Haybalers started out the first set with a five-point advantage, leading the Bears 8-3. Kills from senior Spindt and junior King and an ace from sophomore Ally Ostrow swung the momentum back into the favor of the Bears and tied up the scoreboard at 10 all. M-A continued to serve San Benito off the court, with three more aces from Spindt and sophomore Eliza Dewar. Senior Katelyn Doherty put it down to give the Bears a 20-15 lead, coming into the middle from the right side and running a combo with middle blocker senior Saane Fakalata. The Bears took the set 25-18 with a kill from Spindt.

Doherty opened a competitive second set with a kill from the right side. The Haybalers edged the Bears from a 9-all tie, pulling ahead by six points midway through the set. Despite a block from Spindt and kills from Doherty and Ostrow, San Benito maintained the lead, forcing M-A head coach Ron Whitmill to call a timeout at 15-20. Returning to the court with renewed energy, the Bears executed a pivotal seven-point streak, pulling ahead by two nearing the end of the set. Momentum went back and forth between the two teams, until a hitting error from San Benito gave the Bears game point at 27-26 and King slammed it down the line to secure the victory.

San Benito kept a steady two-point lead throughout the third set. King, Spindt, and Doherty controlled the offense with three kills apiece. The Bears capitalized on a service error from the Haybalers and finally tied it up at 20 all. Two consecutive kills from King gave the Bears match point, and Doherty put it down, capturing a 25-21 win for the Bears in the final set.

The Bears (25-7) will advance to the semis, facing No. 2 Salinas on Wednesday, November 14 at Santa Clara High School at 5:30 pm.