Crusaders and Warriors Go 1-1 in Close Games
By KRISTAN KORNS, Two Rivers Tribune
The Hoopa Lady Warriors and the St. Bernard’s Crusaders traded wins on the volleyball court on Wednesday, October 30, as St. Bernard’s JV team defeated Hoopa 2-1 and the Varsity Warriors defeated the Crusaders 3-1.
Both Varsity teams went into Wednesday night’s game with confidence. St. Bernard’s could point to their 3-3 league record, which was better than Hoopa’s 2-5 record.
Teri Silvers, St. Bernard’s Varsity Volleyball coach, said, “We lost the last time we were here, but we beat them at home.”
Tita Tanuvasa, middle hitter for the Crusaders, said, “I’m going to concentrate on talking and being a team like we were yesterday. We played a really good team – Ferndale – and we shut them down.”
For the Lady Warriors, a win on Wednesday was essential for any hope of getting into the post season.
Hoopa Varsity Volleyball Coach Erika Chase said, “This is our final push. We just need to play our hardest tonight and on Tuesday and see what happens at the seeding meeting.”
The Warriors did play their hardest, with Hoopa Co-Captains and Hitters Stella Jarnaghan and Lindsey Billings constantly battling on the net against St. Bernard’s Middle Hitter Tanuvasa during the first match.
Hoopa slowly started to fall behind on points, with St. Bernard’s moving ahead on the scoreboard by six.
The Lady Warriors rallied to close the gap, but it was too late; the Crusaders defeated the Lady Warriors 25-22 in the first Varsity match of the night.
The second Varsity match started with St. Bernard’s putting three points on the board to Hoopa’s zero, until a showdown between St. Bernard’s Right Hitter Lauren Genevro and Hoopa’s Billings at the net put the ball back in the home team’s hands.
Lady Warrior Onaleece Colegrove made three strong serves that allowed her team to tie the score 3-3, before the Crusaders managed to get up by five points.
Hoopa managed to turn the tide by what might have looked like luck to some, as the team’s players went all out to try anything and everything to keep the ball in play.
Jarnaghan said, “There were times when somebody would try and chase after and dig the ball and somebody else would try to save it and we somehow managed to get it over the net.”
Billings said, “We worked well together as a team. We talked a lot and had good communication.”
The communication paid off, and Hoopa narrowly defeated St. Bernard’s 25-23 in the second match. After that, the Crusaders seemed to lose their focus.
Jarnaghan said, “I think we got into their heads.”
Hoopa defeated St. Bernard’s in both of the next two matches, 25-17 and 25-13, and won the game 3-1.
The Lady Warriors will play their last game of the season when they face off against the South Fork Cubs at home on Tuesday, November 5.
“Senior Appreciation Night is Tuesday,” Billings said, and joked that it could be called ‘Lindsey Appreciation Night’ because she was the only senior on the team.
Jarnaghan said, “We’d like our fans and the community to come out and support their Lady Warriors.”
The two JV teams faced off for their last game of the season against a rival they’d both won and lost against before.
St. Bernard’s JV team went into Wednesday night’s game with a 5-1 record in league play, with their only loss being to Hoopa.
Ulu Stauffacher, St. Bernard’s JV Volleyball coach, said, “We’ve played them several times now. We lost one game against Hoopa – they’re a very strong team – and I think we have a really strong chance tonight.”
Hoopa’s JV team came into the game with a 3-3 record in league play, but fresh on the heels of a win against one of their main rivals.
Lady Warrior Jacqueline Risling said, “Our last game we finally beat Ferndale.”
Tenayah French nodded at her teammate and said, “We’re a small team, but we’re strong and we’re determined to win.”
Setter Namechi Frank served for Hoopa and started off with two aces before hitting the ball out of bounds.
The two teams stayed closely matched on points, never getting more than a point or two apart, while control of the ball shifted back and forth.
In volley after volley, Hoopa Hitter Tea McGinnis and St. Bernard’s hitter Lexie Lewis battled at the net.
Lewis loves hitting. “It’s just really fun and you get all your anger out. That’s probably the best thing about volleyball.”
A successful spike from McGinnis tied the score at 25-25, and after several volleys the score tied again at 27-27.
Crusader Kayla Bonomini served and after a quick volley, Hoopa gained one point and then another after Risling’s serve, ending the set with a 29-27 victory for the Lady Warriors.
St. Bernard’s Setter Rachel Barnett started the second set off with powerful serves that soon put her team in the lead with the score at 0-3.
Lady Warrior Rhea McCoy served next for Hoopa; started with an ace, and the board read 4-4 before St. Bernard’s retook possession of the ball.
The two teams were evenly matched and the second set progressed like the first, with the score seesawing back and forth but never more than two or three points apart.
St. Bernard’s pushed ahead in the last few minutes of the set, defeating Hoopa 25-22.
The Lady Warriors started the third set strong, with Frank serving up two aces followed by two more strong serves to bring the score 4-0.
The Crusader’s Barnett followed up with excellent serves of her own, while her teammates traded volleys with the Warriors, bringing the score to 4-3.
The third match, like the first two, was another closely-fought back-and-forth contest for the two JV teams.
In the last few minutes, St. Bernard’s team pulled decisively ahead. They defeated Hoopa 15-10 for the match and won the JV game 2-1.