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CHS volleyball squad participates in postseason tourney
Ceres High School's varsity volleyball team faced a big challenge in the opening round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs.

The 16th-seeded Bulldogs fell short in their upset bid of top-seeded St. Mary's of Stockton on Tuesday, Nov. 10. The three-time defending Tri-City champion Rams rolled to a 25-13, 25-7, 25-14 victory.

Jamie Beck, Ceres High's 6-foot-2-inch junior standout, had five kills, three digs, two blocks and one ace. Kaela Causey tallied 10 serve receptions, seven assists and four digs. Jode Johnson collected five kills and four digs. Leah Rose totaled four digs and one kill.

"We actually did really well," Bulldogs head coach Stephanie Hamilton said. "It was a fun experience."

St. Mary's moved to 27-9 on the year.

Ceres High finished 21-13 overall, participated in the playoffs for the first time since 2004 and placed fourth in the Valley Oak League (9-7).

"I'm completely satisfied," said Hamilton, who led the Bulldogs to one of their most successful seasons in over a decade. "They went above and beyond. They did great. I'm sad it's over."

Ceres High will lose eight players to graduation, including Johnson, Causey, Rose, Rachel Nevarez, Alyssa Eudy, Nichole Fitch, Hilary Haley and Amy Raymond.

Johnson made the VOL second team. She accumulated 111 kills, 87 digs, 25 blocks and 25 aces.

"Jode's a great all-round player," Hamilton said.

Kaela (345 assists, 212 digs, 57 aces, 44 kills), Leah (145 digs, 47 kills, 38 aces) and Rachel (118 assists, 56 digs, 11 aces, six kills) will also be missed.

Beck, Sabrina Rinsamout, Haley Duarte, Sherhea Hamilton and Meagan Humphres are expected to return to the team in 2010.

"The girls are already looking forward to next year," Stephanie said. "We're hoping to do even better."

Beck, a VOL first-team honoree and Ceres High's most valuable player, led the Bulldogs in kills (442), aces (69) and blocks (25).

"Jamie's a huge impact player for us with her hitting and blocking," coach Hamilton said. "She's also a great person. She's really humble. She doesn't let her success go to her head."