The Immanuel High volleyball team was denied a third state title Friday night, falling in straight sets against Head/Royce-Oakland.
The Jayhawks beat the Eagles 25-9, 25-22, 25-14 for the CIF State Division V title at Santiago Canyon College in Orange.
Lindsay Unruh and Danielle Jefferies had 10 kills apiece for Immanuel and Brooke Gonsalves had 23 assists and eight digs.
Immanuel ends the season 27-16; Head/Royce finished 34-1.
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Immanuel won its two previous trips to the CIF State Championships, capturing Division V titles in 1997 over Modoc-Alturas (15-7, 15-13, 15-6) and in 2001 over Woodside Priory-Portola Valley (15-10, 15-7, 15-0).
Eagles coach Janell Gonsalves, then Janell Gruenstein, was an outside hitter on Immanuel’s 1997 state champion.
The last Central Section school to reach the state finals was Central Valley Christian in 2013, when the Cavaliers were swept 3-0 by Valley Christian-San Jose, led by former Fresno State star quarterback Trent Dilfer’s two daughters and co-coached by former Fresno City College coach Sheri Hess.
Bakersfield Christian was the last section school to win a state title, beating Castilleja-Palo Alto 3-2 in the D-V final in 2006.
Section schools have reached the finals 15 times since the CIF State girls volleyball championships were launched as a single-division event in 1978, when Highland-Bakersfield topped Reedley 3-1 for the first title.
Division II was added in 1981, Division III in 1982 and Divisions IV and V in 1991, with the Open Division launching this season.
Other state champions from the section include Highland in 1988 (D-II), Sierra-Tollhouse in 1989 (D-III), Centennial-Bakersfield in 1995 (D-II) and 1996 (D-I) and Liberty-Bakersfield in 2002 (D-II).