Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Upland Girls volleyball team remains unbeaten after sweeping Chino Hills

Chino Hills – If the Upland Girls volleyball team is going to win its first baseline league title since 2008, the Highlanders will have to thwart the challengers to avenge a past loss.

September is not even half done, but Upland passed his first Test in this regard on Tuesday.

The Highlanders faced a quick start by hosts Chino Hills to register a 25-22, 25-19, 25-16 win.

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Upland coach Scott Robertson said: “They (Huskies) were very energetic and we knew they were trying to avenge their loss at the Queen’s Court tournament.” “We are proud of how we responded.”

The Queen’s Court tournament is one of the last summer tournaments held each August before regular season play, and Upland defeated Chino Hills in the finals of the Varsity Division a little more than a month earlier.

Chino Hills coach Joe Schnake thought it was personal to his team, not necessarily from Queen’s Court, but also from his club teams. And it didn’t really help.

“We really wanted to win. They know each other. These girls have friends and foes on the team,” Schnack said.

The victory gave Upland a 12–0, 2–0 record in the league. Chino Hills fell 4-3, 0-1.

Chino Hills got off to a quick start in the first set to take a 6-0 and 8-1 lead, which lasted a short time. Upland took their first lead 11-10 and eventually went 22-16. Chino Hills rallied to six straight points before Upland scored the final three, with Riley Contreras providing the final point.

Upland got off to a quick start in the second set but didn’t get out of reach until late. Chino Hills were within three points by the end of 19-16. The Highlanders pulled out a possible Chino Hills rally to a 15-6 lead in the third set and then did not allow the Huskies to come closer than seven points.

Schnake said his team was much better at following the game plan in the first two sets than in the third.

“We needed a quick set (on offense), which we want to do especially against tall opponents,” he said. “We didn’t do that in the third. They were able to set up their defense better.”

Schnack said experience was also a factor. The Huskies introduced three new players: setter Sierra Grant, right side Maya Banks and middle blocker Camry Daniels. There are only two new players in Upland’s roster.

“They’re trying to beat girls who are mostly seniors,” Schnack said. “But I’m proud of his effort.”

Senior outside hitter Tehya Chadwick led Chino Hills with 10 kills, while junior Alexia Athanas hit at .308 clip. Senior Taryn Saunders had five blocks, junior Erin Lim had 12 assists and four aces, and Grant had 11 assists.

Chino Hills had trouble handling the Upland front line, which includes Contreras and Brooke Mackie, who are both seniors.

“I thought Riley Contreras had a good match and Brooke was always going to take his five-wicket haul in a set,” Robertson said.

Mackie entered the match at an average of 5.1 kills per set.

Upland was coming off a win in Division 2 of the Dave Mohs tournament last weekend, but Robertson wasn’t worried about a letdown.

“All five other teams in the baseline league are going to be tough. This past year was a lost year,” said Robertson. “We have a good senior group that knows we have a lot we want to achieve.”

Upland entered the week in the CIF Southern Division Division 3 ranking among the “others to receive the vote”, while Chino Hills was No. 4 in Division 5.

Upland Girls volleyball team remains unbeaten after sweeping Chino Hills
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