It took roughly an hour for Immanuel High to get swept out of its first Central Section volleyball championship match in 12 years.
But with four starters and six contributors overall set to return from a team that lost 25-16, 25-10, 25-15 to top-seeded Frazier Mountain in the Division V final Saturday at West Hills College, Eagles coach Janell Gonsalves expects a quick return to this stage.
“I’m really excited for the future of Immanuel volleyball,” Gonsalves said. “This isn’t the way you want to go down, but this is only going to make them hungrier.”
Gonsalves played for the Eagles’ last section-title winner in 1997, a team that also went on to capture the state D-V championship.
I’m really excited for the future of Immanuel volleyball. This isn’t the way you want to go down, but this is only going to make them hungrier.
Immanuel volleyball coach Janell Gonsalves, who returns six major contributors from a team that lost 25-16, 25-10, 25-15 in the Central Section Division V girls volleyball final
She’s in her second season as coach of a proud program with nine section volleyball titles.
Gonsalves will welcome back freshman opposite hitter Danielle Jefferies, sophomore outside hitter Lindsay Unruh, sophomore middle blocker Ava Galpin and sophomore setter Brooke Gonsalves, her daughter, from the starting lineup against Frazier Mountain. Junior defensive specialists Bailey Price and Breanna Wood are also set to return.
“My goal has been to get the program back to where I’m not creating anything and get it back to what it was when I was an athlete here,” Janell Gonsalves said. “This is the first time some of them have experienced these kind of nerves in a volleyball arena. So next year, when we’re back, they’ll know how to deal with it.”
Second-seeded Immanuel (13-16) led 7-1 in the third set. But the Eagles’ hopes of extending the match were quickly dashed as Frazier Mountain reeled off 10 straight points. The Falcons (23-7-1) never looked back, cruising to their second straight D-V title.
Unruh and Galpin each had five kills. Gonsalves added 18 assists.
“I have girls who are highly motivated athletes,” Janell Gonzalves said. “I will stop at nothing, personally, to make sure that I get them to a point where they are ready to compete. It’s time. It’s our time.”