The Lion’s Storybook Season Closes as the Most Successful In School History
By Stephanie LaFleur
The Linfield Christian Girls Volleyball Team faced San Dimas in the second round of the CIF State Tournament on Thursday night. The CIF-SS Division 7 Champions and Division 4 second seeded Lions were defeated by the Saints in 4 sets.
The Lions began set one up 7-2 but then allowed 8 straight San Dimas points to trail 7-10. Lions MB Alaina Tucker snapped the streak with a tip to kill. Shortly after fellow MB Paige Williams tallied the block, followed by two kills from OH Kelly Rausch to regain lead at 13-12.
San Dimas would error on the next swing, but made the correction on the next attempt with a tip to a kill down the line. Williams responds right back with a tip to kill, followed by an assisted block with OH Makenzie Phelps for the 16-13 lead forcing a Saints timeout.
The Lions pushed the pace with an ace from Rausch out of the timeout, along with three kills to follow and a block to extend the lead to 22-17. San Dimas’ swing failed again and Rausch would tool the block while libero Sam Hohulin aced the Saints to close game one 25-18.
Set two took a major turn as the Lions trailed the entire game, with multiple errors that could not be escaped. Linfield would go on to lose set two 12-25, leaving the match tied at 1-1.
The Lions found some momentum going into set three with a kill from Phelps and a block from Tucker to begin the set. Linfield eventually lost the lead, but Phelps and Tucker combined yet again for three consecutive kills for the 13-10 advantage and a Saints timeout. Errors made their return as Linfield found themselves tied at 16-16, and would continue as San Dimas went on a serving run to extend the lead to 4 (16-20).
Williams stepped in to not only side out for the Lions, but tally four consecutive kills to give the Lions a two point margin at 19-21. Linfield got within one (23-24), but San Dimas finished the set with a kill to go up 2-1 in the match.
Set four emulated set three as the Lions trailed for the majority of the set due to error lapses. A small spurt of energy came at the end of the set with two consecutive kills from Phelps followed by a block to close the gap from 7 to 4, but the Saints secured the match with a final kill and the 20-25 win.
Tucker finished with 10 kills and 5 blocks, while Williams tallied 12 kills and 4 blocks. Setter Devin Sivertson earned 38 assists while San Hohulin finished with 16 digs.
The Lions finish with a record of 30-5 overall and a CIF-SS Division 7 Championship. 2018 was the most successful volleyball season in Linfield history…and topped off with the first ever appearance in the CIF State Tournament.
Photos by Stephanie LaFleur