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Bulldogs end 12-match losing streak in volleyball against Hawks
Madison Nash and Tiana Rogers celebrate a point during Ceres Highs 3-1 triumph over crosstown-rival Central Valley last Wednesday. The Hawks won the previous 12 meetings. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High's varsity girls volleyball team has enjoyed a reversal of fortunes this fall.

The Bulldogs secured the Western Athletic Conference's second playoff berth with a 3-1 (25-21, 25-17, 23-25, 25-9) road win over crosstown-rival Central Valley last Wednesday.

Runner-up Ceres High (9-6) finished one-game ahead of third-place Central Valley (8-7) in the WAC standings.

First-place Los Banos compiled a perfect 15-0 record.

The top three teams in the WAC advanced to the postseason.

Ceres High won just four matches in 2015.

"We set a goal at the beginning of the season to make playoffs," Bulldogs second-year head coach Darlene Tobler said. "We wanted it for ourselves and our school. We actually made it. It's a huge accomplishment."

Diana Zarco had 24 digs and two aces to lead Ceres High.

Tiana Rogers had 18 digs, 16 assists, three kills and one ace.

Alyssa Stiles had 18 digs, 10 kills, five blocks, one assist and one ace.

Rayohna Sagapolu had 13 digs, four kills, two blocks and one assist.

Kendall Meyer had 12 blocks, eight kills and four digs.

Madison Nash had eight digs, seven kills, two aces and one block.

Shelby Veuve had seven digs, one kill and one ace.

Blanca Espinoza had 24 digs, two kills and one ace to lead Central Valley.

Mariana Garibay had 20 kills, 12 digs and one ace.

Kayla Walker had nine kills and six digs.

Adria Robinson had eight kills and seven blocks.

"Our team has been pretty strong all season," Tobler said. "They're still improving."

Ceres High spoiled Central Valley's Senior Night.

The Bulldogs lost their previous 12 matches to the Hawks dating back to the 2011 season.

Central Valley defeated Ceres High 3-2 (25-22, 21-25, 25-21, 7-25, 15-9) and 3-0 (25-13, 25-22, 25-19) earlier this year.

The Bulldogs improved their all-time record versus the Hawks to 10-13.

"They were very excited to play today," Tobler said. "They definitely had some nerves. But they didn't let it get to them. They redirected it in a very positive way. They stayed motivated. They wanted to win so badly."

Ceres High last participated in the playoffs in 2010.

"My girls are beyond excited about being in playoffs," Tobler said. "My ultimate goal is to continue to build and grow the program."

Central Valley secured its third straight postseason berth under fourth-year head coach Kelly Heese's guidance.

"It's really exciting both schools advanced to the playoffs," Tobler said. "Kelly's a great coach. She's always been nice to me. We get along very well."