SACRAMENTO, Calif. – On a night that featured two top-four seeds eliminated in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I bracket, the No. 1 St. Francis volleyball overcame a loss in the first set to post a 3-1 win over Turlock on Thursday night 22-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-8 to reach the semifinals.
"We started pretty week and not working as a team," said junior Chloe Henning, who had 10 kills and hit a team-best .666. "In the third and fourth sets we came back strong with some really strong team play."
St. Francis (34-2) lost the first set as Turlock came in unafraid of the top seed, taking the set 25-22. They led in the second before St. Francis took control late to tie the match. The Troubies were never in trouble in the third set and junior Lauren Patella served eight straight points in the fourth to help the team clinch the match after four.
"We talked about how we needed to focus," said setter Ellie Eichhorn of the team meeting after the first set. "We came in too confident in the first set. We humbled ourselves and talked about what we needed to do and got back into the match."
"We are really excited to keep working in practice and take what we learned tonight into next week," said Henning.
St. Francis will host Delta League rival and No. 5 seed Cosumnes Oaks, who upset St, Mary's on the road on Thursday at 7p.m.. No. 7 Gregori also upset No. 2 Rocklin and will travel to No. 3 Oak Ridge in the second semifinal. All four teams earn a berth in the CIF Northern California Regionals.
Sac-Joaquin Section Division I Bracket
Thursday, October 31
No. 1 St. Francis 3, No. 9 Turlock 1
No. 5 Cosumnes Oaks 3, No. 4 St. Mary's 2
No. 3 Oak Ridge 3, No. 6 Pleasant Grove 2
No. 7 Gregori 3, No. 2 Rocklin 0