Buchanan tops rival Central for section title in volleyball
The Buchanan High Bears girls volleyball team remembered losing to Central in last season’s Central Section Division I final.
Not this time.
The second-seeded Bears defeated the top-seeded Grizzlies 26-24, 18-25, 13-25, 25-20 Saturday at College of the Sequoias to win the championship and avenge that 2017 setback. It’s Buchanan’s eighth section title and first since 2007, according to section historian Bob Barnett.
“It was a two-year battle with Central,” Buchanan coach Chantel Paschetta said. “The girls competed. They wanted it and executed really well today.”
Central had owned the twoyear battle until Saturday, winning all four meetings last year and five straight before Buchanan knocked the Grizzlies off last month.
Their rivalry appeared destined for the full five sets in Saturday’s match, but the Bears rallied to 17-17 in the fourth set and pulled away, winning on a spike down the line.
“You have to leave it on the court,” Paschetta said. “It was emotionally and physically exhausting after every single point. That was my second timeout early in the fourth set, and they just dug deep … they would not take no for an answer.”
Lexi Pagani had 15 kills for the Bears, Kylie Kerney 13 kills, Ashley Dittman 11 kills, Julia Pagani 12 digs and Mikayla Weiss 48 assists.
There were two matches after this edition of The Bee went to press: Chowchilla vs. Immanuel in D-IV and El Diamante vs. Exeter in D-II.
Highlights from earlier matches:
YOSEMITE BADGERS CHAMPIONS AGAIN
It’s been a while, but the Yosemite Badgers can call themselves section champions again.
The Badgers outlasted Madera South 21-25, 25-20, 25-16, 17-25, 17-15 in the Division III final to win their eighth section title, first since 2004.
Madera South had a chance to clinch the match, but Yosemite’s Sayda Taylor had three kills in a row to tie the final set.
WASHINGTON UNION WINS FIRST TITLE
Washington Union won its first section volleyball title, beating Selma 27-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-18 in the D-V final.
Sydney Kuma, the senior who transferred from Caruthers after last volleyball season, led the way with 23 kills and 30 digs.
Washington Union (32-8) trailed in each of the first three sets, then took control 7-1 in the fourth. Kuma, a University of Georgia softball commit who’s also a standout in soccer, later had a kill and an an ace on consecutive points to give the Panthers an 11-5 lead. Washington Union won a long point to reach 24-18 and celebrated the title after a Selma error.
Senior Cece Lopez added 13 kills, senior Celina Garcia had 20 digs and sophomore Maynhia Thao had 39 assists. Another sophomore, Jennifer Lopez, had an ace and a kill during the Panthers’ last six points.
Buchanan celebrates its win against Central at the Central Section girls volleyball championships at College of the Sequoias on Saturday in Visalia. In four sets, the Bears avenged their loss to Central in last year’s Central Section Division I final.