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Bear River volleyball on to section title game

Bruins sweep visiting Sonora
By: Gold Country News Service
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Facing adversity in the second game of Tuesday night’s CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. IV semifinal playoff match at Lake of the Pines against Sonora, Bear River’s Bruins proved to be up to the task.
 
“We haven’t really been challenged in a long time,” said Bear River coach Matt MacDonald. “I thought it was great the way the girls stepped up and showed a lot of poise by handling the situation.”
 
MacDonald was referring to his Bruins rallying from a 23-18 deficit in the second set of the three game match that the hosts eventually went on to win 25-4, 25-23, 25-15.
 
The semifinal victory vaults the Bruins into Thursday night’s 8 p.m. CIF championship match against perennial Div. V champion Ripon Christian at UC Davis. Ripon Christian, which is playing Div. IV this year after winning five consecutive Div. V crowns, defeated Escalon, 25-11, 25-21, 22-25, 25-22 in the other Div. IV semifinal Tuesday night.
 
Bear River, which won a Div. IV title in 1991, will be seeking the school’s first volleyball section crown since the 1998 team won the Div. III crown. In 2011, the Bruins fell to Union Mine, the eventual state champion, in the Div. IV finals.
 
“Last year I think we were just happy to get to UC Davis,” MacDonald said. “This year we want to try and finish the job.”
 
Leading Bear River’s win Tuesday was the front line play of Kirsten Pereira, who totaled 13 kills and Sara Schell, who added 10 more.
 
Amanda Clark and Teryn Rath added more spark to the Bruins’ attack with four kills apiece, while setter Kaya Johnson was credited with 27 assists and three serving aces.
 
“We’re playing well right now and we want to keep it going,” MacDonald said. “Ripon Christian is a very sound team with a lot of tradition. It should be a great match.”