CVC plays large, topples Clovis

The Fresno BeeAugust 31, 2013 

Central Valley Christian High, making yet another statement for a school with 280 students, defeated Clovis 2-1 Saturday in a duel of excellence for the Clovis Volleyball Challenge championship at Clovis North.

The Cavaliers — while technically against their own will — also said something for the administrative voice of the Central Section while conquering a Tri-River Athletic Conference power of 2,800.

This helps explain why CVC — once Division V; once D-IV, and to heck with its enrollment — has for two years now played against much-larger schools in D-III in the section's ongoing pursuit of competitive equity in playoffs.

"Because," Clovis coach Rich Lake said, "they're not shy to play big schools and they can play with anybody. They always seem to be one of the top five teams in the Valley regardless of their division."

CVC coach Meghan Warkentin, while in a giddy mood following the 21-25, 25-20, 15-10 victory to close an event that drew the best of the section — minus top-ranked Clovis West — may shrug off the section politics with a chuckle. But she's sure to resume her charge against the postseason blueprint tomorrow.

"Because," she said, "it gives us no chance to win a state championship."

Only that is missing in the school's trophy case on West Tulare Avenue in Visalia.

The Cavs' file is thick in the Fresno home of section historian Bob Barnett.

In the past 25 years, he says, the Cavs have delivered 21 titles and four runners-up in league play.

More importantly — especially in the eyes of Commissioner Jim Crichlow and his section suits — they captured a combination of 12 section championships in divisions V and IV between 1995 and 2011.

The dynasty was interrupted by Hoover last year in a D-III semifinal stunner — the fourth-seeded and eventual champion Patriots beating top-seeded CVC 3-1.

But Saturday's display of passing and power against the section's third-ranked Cougars fired a frightening signal to the D-III field this season.

Warkentin lost no one from last year's 26-9 team.

"They're so talented, but they don't know half of it," she said.

The Cavs' frontline power is four deep, featuring Taylor Van Den Berg and Veronica Nederend, who teamed for 25 kills against Clovis.

"It's just great to have everyone back again," said Nederend, who closed the match with a left-side kill after being denied seconds earlier by Cayla Broussard's remarkable dig. And the Cougars' junior almost pulled the trick a second time.

CVC senior libero Tess Van Grouw had 30 digs against Clovis and was named tournament Most Valuable Player.

Sky Griffin and Katelyn Vander Tuig combined for 33 assists, and Lindsey Calvin. Hailey Hilvers and Sara Vander Poel supplemented the frontline attack for CVC, ranked fourth in the section by The Bee.

Clovis' Maddie Ogas, lining up with Nederend, Tehachapi's UCLA commit Destiny Julye and anyone else among the section's big hitters, had 10 kills, and Broussard finished with 21 digs.

The Cougars and Cavs advanced to the final after sweeping Tehachapi and Centennial in the semifinals.

Believe it: Porterville 80, Mt. Whitney 54

Isaiah Jones rushed for 219 yards on only 11 carries, scoring on runs of 68 and 57 yards, as Porterville won a wild one Friday night — a nonleague football game that totaled 1,253 yards, third-highest in section history, Barnett said.

Mt. Whitney's Demarrea Joyce, in his starting debut, passed for 323 yards and rushed for another 84. The Pioneers had 588 total yards and Porterville 665.

The reporter can be reached at aboogaard@fresnobee.com or @beepreps on Twitter.

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