By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Central Valley volleyball vying for first playoff berth
Hawks looking to make history
Second-year head coach Kelly Heese is trying to lead Central Valley to its first-ever playoff appearance. The Hawks nearly made history last year. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Central Valley High School's varsity volleyball program has never qualified for the playoffs.

The Hawks remained in the hunt for their first-ever postseason berth this past week after winning one of two matches.

Central Valley moved to 4-4 in the Western Athletic Conference standings.

"If you don't set the bar high, how do you expect to succeed," Central Valley second-year head coach Kelly Heese said. "I'm 100 percent dedicated to this team and very passionate about volleyball. The girls are receptive to my coaching."

The Hawks earned a series sweep of Pacheco on Oct. 14. Central Valley won the second meeting, 3-0, in Ceres.

"It's nice when you can sit on the bench and just watch your team play," Heese said. "That's the best they've played this year. Everybody worked together on the court."

Ellysa Widas led the Hawks with 15 assists, two aces and one kill.

Julia Ramsey had 13 kills, three blocks and two aces.

Central Valley lost 3-1 to El Capitan on Thursday in Merced.

Ramsey tallied seven kills, Lynaya Lerma collected six kills and three blocks, and Blanca Espinoza added four digs.

The Hawks won the first set 25-20 thanks to a 10-2 run.

"My girls came out on fire," said Heese, whose team lost by the same score to the Gauchos earlier this season in Ceres. "We ran our offense in the first game. The momentum went downhill from there. El Capitan's girls play year-round. That's the difference."

Central Valley trailed third-place Patterson (5-4) in the WAC standings as of Monday.

The top three teams qualify for the postseason.

"We still have a chance to be able to make playoffs," Heese said. "We're going to fight hard. I believe we're a stronger team."

The Hawks dropped out of playoff contention late in the 2013 season.

"We were putting so much pressure on ourselves," Heese said. "We're focusing on one game at a time now. We're building a program. We'll get there. It's not going to happen overnight."