The Selma High volleyball team has clawed its way into the Central Section semifinals, defeating Fresno Christian 3-0 on Tuesday night.

Selma came into the match seeded fifth in Division V and Fresno Christian No. 4. The Bears took a quick 10-point lead in the first set en route to a 25-22 win. It followed with a 28-26 victory in Set 2 and a 25-13 triumph in Set 3.

The Bears now will travel more than 150 miles to the remote, Southern California town of California City for Thursday night’s 6:30 p.m. semifinals. Cal City is seeded No. 1 in the division.

In the other semifinal, No. 3 Sierra Pacific is at No. 2 Kings Christian.

“We came into the game calm and in control,” first-year Selma coach Montana Lowe said. “We had a few outlying issues — setter Caylin Lopez was sick; that could have caused us to lose focus, but we let all of that go and played our A game.
 
“We knew that we would need to lift each other up due to these issues, so you could see that the girls were ready to step up for each other and cover more ground. Caitlyn (Hansen) was on fire, and Caylin was connecting well with all of our hitters. Clarissa (Moreno) really stepped up and put in some valuable rotations for us. Gurleen (Brar) was a force in the middle and they couldn’t stop her. Genesis (Rodriguez) was covering a lot of court, and got her job done.
 
“I am proud of these girls, and they have been consistently playing with our theme of the season: Heart.”
 

The section championship match will be Saturday at 10 a.m. at College of the Sequoias. For those who cannot make the title match, the entire championship day will be live-streamed by NFHS. The fee is $9.95 for a month of NFHS events, which include volleyball and football.

Asked if she was fired-up about Thursday’s semifinal, first-year Selma coach Montana Lowe said, “Yes, I am very excited. This is a huge deal for us, so we’re going into tonight confident and ready,”

Hansen led Selma with 21 kills and 12 digs. Also for Selma, Brar had 11 kills and four aces; Moreno seven kills; Rodriguez 15 digs and Lopez 34 assists.

John Murphy can be reached at 583-2413 or jmurphy@hanfordsentinel.com.

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