It won’t be remembered quite like the Central-Clovis high football game that went viral, but the Central Section Division III girls volleyball final saw too many players on the court go undetected by four officials for a crucial point as Bakersfield Christian captured a third straight title.
The top-seeded Eagles had seven players on the court as Phoebe Graham served up the 26th point in the fourth set of a 20-25, 25-17, 25-14, 27-25 victory over No. 2 Mission Oak on Saturday at West Hills College-Lemoore.
The serve was bump returned wide as Bella Bouma hustled off the court after an incorrect substitution rotation.
After a brief conference among the main two officials, the point was award to Bakersfield Christian. The Eagles’ Irene Bos came up with a block on the next point to seal the school’s fifth section title overall and punch their ticket to the CIF Southern California Regional, which begins Tuesday. Pairings will be announced Sunday.
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“It had no impact on the point,” Bakersfield Christian coach Mystie Goodban said. “I think that’s why the refs called it the way they did.”
Had the referees ruled there were seven players on the floor, the point automatically would have been awarded to Mission Oak, which would have gone up 26-25.
We can’t control the crowd, the opponent or the refs calls. All we can control is our play.
Mission Oak coach Casey Norman after a loss in the section D-III final that included a non-call for too many players on the court during a crucial point
This comes a month after Central defended Clovis with 13 players for five plays and 12 on a sixth during the Cougars’ final failed drive of the Grizzlies’ 21-20 upset of the then-section top-ranked football team.
“We can’t control the crowd, the opponent or the refs calls,” Mission Oak coach Casey Norman said. “All we can control is our play.”
Mission Oak (27-7), playing in its first section volleyball final, let a 22-20 lead slip away as Graham delivered three of her seven fourth-set kills.
After winning the first set, the Hawks couldn’t keep pace with Bakersfield Christian (25-7) in the second and third sets.
“Ball control and momentum,” Norman said. “It’s hard to control and easy to lose.”
Samantha Arellano had eight kills and seven blocks to lead Mission Oak, which also received nine kills from Christa Pilgrim, seven kills, six digs and two aces from Aubrey Cardoza, five kills and five blocks from Tristen Myers and five blocks from Ali Gomez.
“I’m very proud of the girls,” Norman said. “This just makes us determined to come back strong next year and play better.