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Dawgs win crosstown volleyball showdown
Alyssa Long and her Central Valley varsity volleyball teammates took offense to Ceres High's post-match celebration.

Bulldog players tore down several posters off a wall in Hawk Gymnasium. One of the signs poked fun at Ceres High.

"I told them it was disrespectful and they apologized," Long said.

Ceres High players let their emotions get the best of them after escaping with a 25-16, 25-23, 22-25, 17-25, 17-15 victory over host Central Valley in front of a large crowd on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

The Bulldogs secured a playoff berth on the final day of the Western Athletic Conference season.

The upset-minded Hawks almost played a spoiler as they rallied from a two-games-to-none deficit.

"They have great players on their team," Ceres High senior standout Jamie Beck said. "I'm just glad we came through in the end."

Beck filled the stat sheet with 22 kills, eight digs, three aces, one block and one assist for the Bulldogs, who improved to 17-7-2 on the year and tied for second place in the Western Athletic Conference (7-3).

Jessica Ellsworth had 28 assists, five digs, one kill and one ace.

Sabrina Rinsamout collected nine digs, five kills, two blocks and one assist.

Kassandra Jordan totaled seven digs, three kills and three blocks.

Sherhea Hamilton tallied five kills, four digs, two assists and one block.

Haley Duarte contributed five blocks, three assists and two digs.

Yvette Huizar chipped in with seven digs and one assist.

The Hawks (2-8 WAC) relied on a host of players, including Long (11 kills, 10 digs, four blocks and three aces), Breanna Wideman (23 assists, three digs and one ace), Jenna Mills (seven kills, two aces and one block), Maday Padilla (five aces, four kills and four digs), Cheyenne Adney (10 digs), Geena Wade (five kills) and Molly Littman (three digs and one kill).

Ceres High got off to a great start against Central Valley.

The Bulldogs won the first two games, 25-16, 25-23.

Ceres High's confidence dropped after losing the third (25-22) and fourth (25-17) games.

"There was a lot of pressure tonight," Beck said. "We all got nervous. We were thinking about it too much."

"I haven't seen them fight like that in a long time," Central Valley head coach Amy Castillo said. "They played with no regrets. I'm definitely proud of them. They did an amazing job."

"I'm not surprised," Long said. "I have faith in my teammates."

The Hawks fought off match point four times in the fifth and decisive game before suffering a 17-15 loss.

"It was a great battle," said Long, one of five seniors that suited up for the Hawks this season. "I'm never going to forget it. We wanted to win for each other. We were very selfless. Our team is definitely a family."

Beck had tears of joy streaming down her face after the must-win match.

She helped the Bulldogs improve their all-time record against the Hawks to 9-1.

More importantly, Ceres High qualified for the postseason for the second year in a row.

"I got a little emotional," said Jamie, who sealed the victory with a powerful kill. "It's my last time playing CV. I thought they had it. It was very hard to pull through. I'm very relieved."