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Dawgs win crosstown showdown
For the second time this season, Ceres High's varsity volleyball team got the best of its crosstown rival.

The Bulldogs recorded a 25-22, 19-25, 25-13, 25-13 Valley Oak League victory at Central Valley last Wednesday.

"We're thrilled," Ceres High head coach Stephanie Hamilton said.

Said Hawks standout Alyssa Long: "We did much better than last time."

Sophomore Jamie Beck led the Bulldogs (3-5 VOL) with 13 kills and three blocks. Leah Rose had 13 digs, one kill and one ace. Freshman Jessica Ellsworth tallied 22 assists, four aces and one kill. Jode Johnson finished with four blocks, four kills and one ace. Aimee Gunzenhauser added four kills.

Ruby Ramirez led the Hawks (2-6) with seven aces and six assists. Long totaled three blocks, four kills and five aces. Valerie Uti contributed six kills.

Ceres High reserve player Alyssa Eudy played a pivotal role in the match-clinching, 25-13 fourth game. The Bulldogs scored six straight points off her serve to take a commanding 15-7 lead.

"It makes me proud to be able to help my team instead of cheering from there (the bench) all the time," she said.

"We're very pleased with the way she served," Hamilton added. "She did awesome. I knew she'd pick us up."

The Hawks edged the Bulldogs 25-19 in Game 2 to tie the match at one set apiece.

Central Valley struggled the rest of the way.

"We started off playing with a winning attitude," Hawks head coach Tauheedah Gaines said. "Then we lost rhythm and focus. We thought Ceres was going to give it to us. We need to work hard for every point."

Ceres High jumped out to an 11-3 lead and cruised to a 25-13 victory in Game 3.

The Bulldogs won Game 4 by the exact score.

"We just lost it," Long said. "I don't know if we got tired. We have the talent. It's just a matter of using it."

Added Gaines: "We just couldn't bounce back."

Ceres High defeated Central Valley in straight sets, 25-18, 25-18, 27-25, at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium on Sept. 22

"It feels good to beat them again," Eudy said. "There was a lot of pressure. Everyone was telling us you better win. I'm relieved."

Long, a sophomore, is looking forward to the rematch.

"It's difficult to lose to them but we got them next year," Alyssa said.