Playoff Recap: Girls’ volleyball falls short in semifinal round of state tournament

Nick Zoll

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On Saturday, Nov. 25, the girls’ varsity volleyball team traveled to San Diego for the semifinal round of the Division IV California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) State tournament. The fourth-seeded Dragons faced the third-seeded Broncos of Rancho Bernardo High School. Foothill’s impressive state tournament run came to an end, as they were defeated in three sets 25-27,13-25 and 20-25 by Rancho Bernardo.

The Dragons’ season highlights include a 25-13 overall record, a third-place finish in league play, runner-up in the CIF-SS Division VII Playoffs and upending a number-one seed on their way to a semifinal appearance in the state tournament.

In retrospect, Lexi Malone ‘19 believes that the team “has exceeded expectations this season” and noted the progress from the previous year.

“Last [year] we were done with the season after the first round of CIF and this year we made it all the way to state regional finals,” she said. “I am beyond proud of my team and how amazing and hard we have worked all season long.”

The Dragons compiled a 7-2 record in their nine games of postseason play, including the CIF-SS Division VII playoffs.

Personally, Malone is “very excited for the upcoming [2018] season,” but realizes that adjustments are necessary in order to carry over this season’s success into the next.

“I think our main focus will be learning how to function and play without the five seniors that are leaving us this year,” she explained. “I personally have played with them since my freshman year, so playing with them for three years in a row and now not playing with them at all will be a big change.”

The five departing seniors from the Class of 2018 include Faith Mackie, Taryn Savard, Morgan Gallagher, Techelle Pagan and Heather Ellison.

With Saturday’s win, Rancho Bernardo will advance to the final round of the Division IV CIF State tournament on Dec. 2. The Broncos will square off against the Panthers of Presentation High School for the chance to be crowned as Division IV state champions. Presumably, Presentation is the favorite in the upcoming matchup. The first-seeded Panthers have posted a .923 set winning percentage in the entire tournament; recording 12 set wins opposed to only one set loss.

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