LEMOORE - The Selma Bears can’t be tamed.
The 14th-seeded Bears notched another upset in the CIF Central Section Division V volleyball playoffs after sweeping sixth-seeded Kings Christian 3-0 (25-13, 25-21, 25-23) in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.
Selma’s win comes five days after upsetting No. 3 seeded Orosi in the opening round.
Now the Bears have its sights set on No. 2 Frazier Mountain in Division V semifinals on Thursday.
Selma head coach Montana Lowe said the team has taken an underdog role since being ranked the No. 14 seed.
“We’re viewed as not a good team because we’re so low ranked,” Lowe said. “It’s kind of a blessing in disguise because I think we should be the two or three [seeded] team in this whole division and we weren’t ranked there and now we have a chance to prove it.”
Selma dominated the first set with a 25-13 win to go up 1-0. After the Kings Christian Crusaders cut the Bears lead to 8-7 early on, Selma went on a 17-6 run for the set victory.
The Bears had dominant starts in the second and third sets, but the Crusaders didn’t go away that easy with rallies in both sets.
In the second set, Selma had a commanding 18-11 lead that didn’t last long with the Crusaders rallying back with a 9-5 run. That run would cut the Bears’ lead to 23-20. After both teams traded points to make the score 24-21, Gurleen Brar clinched the set victory for Selma with a kill.
The third set showed similar results with the Bears having another commanding lead at 20-8. Kings Christian would make a 12-3 run to cut Selma’s lead 23-20. The Bears extended its lead 24-20, but the Crusaders scored three-straight points to make it a 24-23 game.
With the match point on the line for Selma, it would be an error by the Crusaders that completed the sweep for the Bears.
Selma will compete in the Division V semifinals for the second-straight season. Last year, the Bears were ranked as the No. 5 seed and lost 3-0 to top-seeded California City in the semifinals. The set scores in that game were 25-22, 25-22, 25-23.
With last year’s playoff experience behind them, some of the team’s members said they’re ready to step it one step further and compete for a Valley championship.
“Last year we didn’t have the results we wanted,” Selma setter Mia Salinas said. “We lost at semis, so hopefully this year we could take it and go to Valley and have a better season.”
“Last year, we played California City and they had one good outside [hitter],” Bears outside hitter Clarissa Moreno said. “We just need to go in there knowing we could do it.”
The girls will travel a little over two hours to take on the Frazier Mountain Falcons on Thursday night. If Selma pulls off another upset, the girls will take on either top-seeded Washington Union or No. 4 ranked Sierra Pacific in the Division V title game on Saturday at College of the Sequoias.