Tehachapi's Sarah Carpinetti, left, and Paige Woodward (15), right, go high over the net for the Warriors at Ridgeview High.
Photographs by John Harte of The Bakersfield Californian

Warriors Outlast Wolf Pack In Five

Posted by Simon Jude Samano, The Bakersfield Californian, on November 18, 2008

Both Tehachapi High volleyball coach Sally White and Ridgeview coach Brandy Charles agreed: Amid the plethora of missed opportunities and, at times, sloppy play by the Warriors and Wolf Pack, the difference in Tuesday night's Central Section Division III semifinals match was defense.

Led by Persephonie Devereaux's 23 blocks, No. 3 Tehachapi came back from a 2-1 deficit and prevailed in five games 23-25, 27-25, 23-25, 25-22, 15-12, over No. 2 Ridgeview, advancing to the title match for the second straight year.

The Warriors (33-4), who added to their record for overall wins in a season by a South Sequoia League team, will face top-seeded Exeter on Thursday.

"My team, for the 12 of them to get out there and pull it out the way they did, it's what we've been about all season," White said. "They're 33-and-4 because this is an awesome team."

Adding to the emotions was avenging a three-game loss to the Wolf Pack (10-11) at Ridgeview in September.

"To come back and take care of business on their home turf was even sweeter," White said.

Despite struggling to set up its serve all night, Tehachapi was bailed out by its defense. Paige Woodward and Jasmine Julye added 10 blocks apiece. And then there were the digs -- Shelby Flick with 14, Samantha Nunnally with 11 and Sarah Horcher's 10.

"Whatever team could dig more balls, pick more balls up in transition back at the other team, that's the team that won tonight," Charles said.

Added White: "Definitely tonight defense was on our side. We talk a lot about tenacity with this team, fighting for it. That's what we did tonight, just kept fighting and fighting and fighting."

And they've given themselves a shot at a title once again.

"We worked so hard for this," said Horcher, who had a team-high 20 kills. "We did incredible, and it's gotten us this far so far."