Linfield Volleyball faced San Dimas in the second round of the CIF State Tournament on Thursday night; the #2 seed in Division 7 that #3 Nordhoff defeated in the semi-finals. The Lions went on to beat Nordhoff in the CIF Championship on Saturday.
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, a CIF-SS Division 7 Championship, and the most successful volleyball season in Linfield history, with the first ever appearance in the CIF State Tournament.