HANFORD - Despite losing four starters on a team that set the school record for wins in a season, the Hanford West volleyball team is off to another historic start.
Tuesday, Hanford West defeated Corcoran to improve to 9-0 on a season that included a tournament championship at the Caruthers Raisin Harvest festival.
With those losses on the roster, Hanford West head coach Julie Coelho said that success has helped fuel the returners.
“I think that year helped inspire the girls,” Coelho said. “They've been fired up and been playing like a connected unit.”
While there were those losses, Hanford West returns three starters from a team that went a school-record 24-12 and advanced to the semifinals of the Central Section Div. III playoffs. It was the first time in school history a volleyball team from Hanford West had won a playoff game and the 2016 Huskies won two.
Coelho said key players included Madison Sousa, Ashlynn Dunn and Shelby Perez. Sousa was the Sentinel's 2016 volleyball co-Player of the Year.
Sousa had led the team so far in kills (29) with Perez just behind her (25).
“She's just setting the pace for the team,” Coelho said of Sousa. “She's had an amazing start to the season.”
Coelho said the team's schedule will toughen up once West Yosemite League play begins. Last year, the Huskies finished second in the league on their way to a high postseason seed.
Coelho said the team's quick start will help them down the line.
“We're using each game to build our confidence,” she said. “I'm looking forward to seeing how we do in the WYL.”
Lemoore moves to 2-0
The Tigers opened the season last week with a pair of wins, sweeping Sunnyside and Edison to move to 2-0.
Against the Wildcats, the Tigers cruised to a 25-8, 25-15, 25-16 victory.
Against Edison, Lemoore won 25-21, 25-22, 25-9.
Lemoore opens the Bishop Gorman tournament Sept. 1.
Hanford falls to 0-2
The Bullpups have opened the season with losses to Immanuel and Dinuba, losing both matches in sweeps.
Against Immanuel, Hanford lost 25-18, 25-18, 25-13. Samantha Vandecaveye led the way with 20 digs. Meghan Chrissakis added 14 digs.
Against Dinuba, the Bullpups fell 25-20, 25-9, 25-23. Juliana Evans had seven kills. Madison Avery had four blocks and Davynn Meek added 11 assists.
Hanford travels Wednesday to Porterville.
Sierra Pacific 1-1
The Golden Bears split their first two matches of the season, beating Avenal then losing to cross-city rival Hanford West.
Sierra Pacific cruised past the Bucs, winnings 25-11, 25-18, 25-5. For the Golden Bears, Cassidy Avila led the way with eight kills and six aces. Amie Walker had 22 assists and five aces. Rosie Soto had 10 digs.
Sierra Pacific plays Coalinga on Thursday.
GIRLS WATER POLO
The Hanford girls water polo team split games against Exeter and Yosemite on the final day of the Tulare tournament this weekend.
Hanford lost to Exeter 8-7 then came back to beat Yosemite 8-7.
The Bullpups are now 2-2. Hanford hosted Porterville late Tuesday.
Lemoore move to 3-3
The Tigers defeated Tulare Union 5-4 then lost to Redwood 13-0 to end play in the Tulare tournament this weekend.
Lemoore is now 2-2. The Tigers host Reedley Sept. 5.
Sierra Pacific 13, Hanford West 9
HANFORD – The Golden Bears jumped out to a 6-0 lead after the first quarter then held off the cross-city rival Huskies in a nonleague match.
After leading 6-0 after the first quarter, Sierra Pacific extended the lead to 10-3 by the half before Hanford West closed the gap in the third.
Neither team scored in the fourth quarter.
For Sierra Pacific, Vanessa Blanchard led the way with four goals, three steals and an assist. Vanessa Lloyd had three goals.
Hailey McGaha, Rylee Ford and Emma Enquist each scored twice.
Sierra Pacific is now 2-0. Hanford West falls to 0-1.
BOYS WATER POLO
Sierra Pacific 14, Hanford West 8
HANFORD – Dario Gonzales scored a team-high four goals, leading the Huskies to a win over the cross-city rival Golden Bears.
Sierra Pacific is now 1-0 on the season. Hanford West falls to 0-1.
Lemoore opened it season by splitting games against Paso Robles and Kingsburg.
Against Paso Robles, the Tigers won 13-11. Against Kingsburg, the Tigers fell 14-8.
Lemoore begins the Fresno tournament Sept. 1.
Tigers move to 3-0
Lemoore opened West Yosemite League play with a 9-0 win over Hanford West to move to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the WYL.
Lemoore swept the singles with all six players losing a total of just three games.
Madison Kuntz led the way at No. 1 singles, winning 6-1, 6-1.
Lizeth Garcia won at No. 2 6-0, 6-1 then Jolene Simas, Lizbeth Flores, Lenny Paez and Paige Clark all won their matches 6-0, 6-0.
Tigers' doubles winners included Simas/Clark (8-4), Garcia/Cassie Cervantez (8-2) and Kuntz/Aliana Cabuhat (8-3).
Lemoore played Corcoran Tuesday then resumes WYL play against Redwood Thursday.
Corcoran-HW game moved back
Friday's football games between Corcoran and Hanford West have been moved back due to this week's high temperatures.
Now, Friday's junior varsity game will begin at 5 p.m. with varsity following at 8 p.m. Both games are at Corcoran High.