The Bishop Lady Broncos ran head long into a pride of tenacious, skilled volleyball Cougars from McFarland High Tuesday night.
The game was the first round of the CIF Central Section volleyball playoffs; Bishop lost 3-2.
“It was a great match. We were just out-played,” was coach Linda Frigerio’s simple explanation.
“They were a good team,” she said. “We were well-matched but I think we had better skills. They (the Cougars) have grit and tenacity and an unconventional style of play.”
The Broncos took game one, 25-22, then dropped game two, 16-25. “It was like a tennis match,” said Frigerio. Bishop came back to win game three 25-17. The turning point was game four, a game that went to the mat and to the Cougars at 26-28. McFarland had the momentum going into the tie-breaker and won 15-8.
To Bishop’s credit, this was the first match that went to the tie-breaker for a Cougar win. The McFarland team was seeded sixth to Bishop’s 11th, carrying a record of 21-2 overall. Those two losses came in early September.
Frigerio was familiar with the Cougars and knew her Broncos were in for a fight. “We still have our ebbs and flows,” she said. “Everybody needed to be 100 percent (for the game); we needed to flow.” Frigerio had scouted the team and knew whoever made the most points early in the games would come out with the win.
That idea of “eye of the tiger,” that ability to calmly, cold-bloodedly go for the jugular has been Frigerio’s theme with this team for four years. This group of Lady Broncos, many of whom as freshmen had never played volleyball before, went from winning no matches in 2010 to finishing third in High Desert League in 2012. At the beginning of this season, Frigerio said, the coach and team set goals: an HDL championship and a berth in the playoffs. That championship had to be shared with Frazier Mountain, but it’s still a championship, representing a 7-1 league record, 21-8 overall.
“We set realistic goals and achieved them,” said Frigerio. “These girls have worked hard, they have heart and a commitment to the team and the sport. They have great character, always put ‘we’ in front of ‘me.’ It’s been an honor and delight to coach this year. A CIF championship is one thing, but these girls have been worth every minute.”
SEASON INDIVIDUAL STATS
Callie Kruse: 112 kills, 24 aces, 13 blocks, 141 digs, 2 assists
Sammy Powell: 75 kills, 19 aces, 27 blocks, 56 digs
Staci Sonke: 59 kills, 19 aces, 26 blocks, 126 digs, 292 assists
Lara Terrasas: 4 kills, 15 aces, 335 digs
Naya McCoy: 6 kills, 1 ace, 2 blocks, 16 digs, 6 assists
Brooke Callahan: 216 kills, 31 aces, 75 blocks, 180 digs, 6 assists
Brianna Coakley: 63 kills, 22 aces, 7 blocks, 157 digs, 4 assists
Dana Wilcher: 30 kills, 1 ace, 16 blocks, 13 digs, 8 assists
Jessica Borin: 18 kills, 8 blocks, 13 digs, 11 assists
Cerra Rossi: 3 kills, 1 block, 41 digs