By Bryanna Winner
For The Signal
West Ranch defeated Crescenta Valley in three games: 25-17, 25-21, and 21-19 to advance to the second round of CIF-Southern Section Division III playoffs.
“For us to be able to wipe the slate clean from last week’s loss to Hart, going into a confidence-building game like this was something we needed and we are going to need it going into Saturday,” West Ranch coach Jamey Ker said.
“This match was important because it was win or lose. If you win, you go on to the next round and if you lose, you go home,” junior Funmi Idowu said. “We really want to make it as far as we can because we want to build up momentum for next season and later season.”
All three games started with West Ranch (20-4) receiving the first point and they made it a mission to set the tone early on.
“If we set the tone early on, then there is no reason why we shouldn’t be able to control the match,” Ker said. “Setting the tone early is something that we’ve been trying to do lately.”
The Wildcats went on a 7-0 run in the first game after going point-for-point early on. After a Falcon timeout, both teams went back and forth until the Falcons (34-12) gained four points and forced a Wildcat timeout. The Wildcats would put the game away winning 25-17 off a kill by sophomore Kyla Waugh.
During the second game, both teams were tied multiple times but the Falcons would be able to take advantage of the Wildcat errors early on. However, the Wildcats wouldn’t give up so easily as the Cats would come back to tie it up and eventually take the lead towards the end and win game two 25-21.
West Ranch took advantage of the Crescenta Valley errors and miscues early on until the Wildcats would have their own after a Falcon timeout with the Cats up 8-5. After the Falcons caught up and multiple ties later, both teams committed errors. The Wildcats won the third and final game 25-19 off of a kill by senior Allison Jacobs.
Jacobs finished the match with 24 kills, sophomore Kiley Gustin had eight kills, Idowu had seven kills, and junior Erin Eskoff led the team 43 assists.
Ker told the team what they were going to be up against on Saturday and compared them to other teams in the Foothill League.
“Even though we played an easy team, there are harder teams out there, like the team we are going to play on Saturday. Jamey (Ker) compared them to Hart and Valencia so we have to know what we did with Valencia to be able to play them,” Idowu said.
Before their next match on Saturday, the Wildcats will be working on cleaning up the errors and miscues that they had during the match against the Falcons.
“Just having an intense practice tomorrow, it’s always the way to go,” Ker said. “We have a really short time in between this match and the next one. So going into the practice knowing that we have to get that drill work going and then compete really hard and that’s the way it’s going to go.”
The Wildcats will face off against Ivy League champion Paloma Valley (26-6) on Saturday at 6 p.m. in Menifee