High School Sports

Clovis West knocks Central from share of TRAC volleyball lead

Clovis West’s Micah Hebert produced 11 kills and three aces in a Tri-River Athletic Conference girls volleyball sweep of Central.
Clovis West’s Micah Hebert produced 11 kills and three aces in a Tri-River Athletic Conference girls volleyball sweep of Central. nickg@fresnobee.com

Sarah Armendariz and Micah Hebert, after combining for 23 kills, agreed on the reason Clovis West High avenged a prior Tri-River Athletic Conference girls volleyball sweep against Central.

Having a boisterous student section behind them provided The Bee’s Central Section No. 4-ranked Golden Eagles a definite lift during a 25-16, 29-27, 25-14 victory Tuesday over the No. 6 Grizzlies that knocked Central from a three-way share of the TRAC lead with Clovis West and Clovis East.

“Them being loud really fired us up,” said Armendariz, who contributed 12 kills, 10 digs and seven blocks.

Central, playing before its own loud home crowd, beat Clovis West 25-17, 25-21, 26-24 to open TRAC play Oct. 1.

“I’m ecstatic we took care of it in three in our house,” said Hebert, who had 11 kills and three aces. “They had a huge (student section) and we came back with one of our own. That played a huge role.”

They had a huge (student section) and we came back with one of our own. That played a huge role.

Clovis West’s Micah Hebert on how the home-court edged boosted the Golden Eagles to a 25-16, 29-27, 25-14 win over Central

Clovis West (26-12, 6-1) would love to have that student section support when the section playoffs begin Nov. 10. And Tuesday’s win over Central, the Golden Eagles’ second in three meetings against the Grizzlies this season, was a crucial step in pursuit of home-court edge.

Clovis West, which has won five of the past seven Division I titles, is building a case for a top-two seed heading into a postseason that will culminate Nov. 21 with championship matches in the section’s five divisions at West Hills College-Lemoore.

The Golden Eagles have won eight straight matches and hold a share of the TRAC lead with No. 5 Clovis East, which beat No. 11 Buchanan 25-20, 27-25, 25-19. They also own an 18-25, 17-25, 25-17, 25-15, 15-9 win over top-ranked and Southwest Yosemite League-leading Liberty-Bakersfield on Sept. 22.

Clovis West closes the regular season Thursday at Buchanan, Nov. 3 at No. 4 Clovis East (which lost 21-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-15 against the Golden Eagles on Oct. 15) and at home Nov. 5 against defending D-I champion Clovis.

Playoff seedings will be announced Nov. 6.

8 Consecutive wins for the Clovis West girls volleyball team

“We have three very tough matches left that we need to get through one at a time,” Clovis West coach Rhonda DeRuiter said. “But this was a huge win for us for seedings.”

A series that saw Armendariz produce two kills and a block helped the Golden Eagles build a 20-12 lead in the first set.

Clovis West squandered a 17-11 lead in the second and faced set-point three times before a kill from Maddie Frediani and a combined block from Armendariz and Julia Altamirano provided the winning points.

The Golden Eagles never trailed in the third set while rolling to a 21-10 lead. An Armendariz kill off a Central block brought the match to an end.

“We got rattled at times,” Central coach Randy Burriss said. “This was the first time we’ve gotten that rattled. Clovis West just outplayed us.”

Nick Giannandrea: 559-441-6103, @NickG_FB

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