Pick 6 - Editors Picks from Past Week

Tuesday, Nov 12 2013 10:39 PM

Titans make quick work of Drillers

  1. 1 of 14

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Frontier captain Casey Hulsey, left, plays the ball off the net after blocking a shot from BHS. Teammate Paige Gettman is at right.

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  2. 2 of 14

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Driller Mackenzie Hernandez stretches for a dig with vocal encouragement from Makaye Jolley in the first game against Frontier.

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  3. 3 of 14

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Frontier's Casey Hulsey is smiling as she's sliding for a spike from BHS.

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  4. 4 of 14

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Titan Paige Gettman's hit avoids the block of Driller Kynedy Edwards in playoff action at the Frontier gym.

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  5. 5 of 14

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Bakersfield's Makaye Jolley sets up a shot to Frontier with fellow Driller Lorena Ramirez at her side.

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  6. 6 of 14

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Bakersfield's Lorena Ramirez races to get a return on the ball but Frontier still got the point. Sydney Sanguras is at back left and Kat Piper, right.

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  7. 7 of 14

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Hailee Earnest of Frontier spikes over BHS front line defender Sydney Sanguras.

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  8. 8 of 14

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Titan captain Hannah Henriksen keeps her eye on the ball as she spikes over Driller Kat Piper.

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  9. 9 of 14

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Samantha Stauch of BHS sets up a shot for a teammate against Frontier.

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  10. 10 of 14

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    A tap over the net goes just beyond the reach of Frontier's Casey Hulsey as Drillers Mackenzie Hernandez (6) and Makaye Jolley watch.

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  11. 11 of 14

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    She didn't make the diving save but Frontier captain Casey Hulsey came up smiling just the same.

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  12. 12 of 14

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Driller Makaye Jolley makes solid contact on this return back to Frontier.

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  13. 13 of 14

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Driller Sydney Sanguras hits the court as she puts the ball up for play against Frontier.

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  14. 14 of 14

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Frontier captain Hannah Henriksen is wound up and ready to spike to BHS.

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BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer zewing@bakersfield.com

The public address announcer at Frontier on Tuesday figured he had plenty of time to get through all the promotional announcements the CIF asks schools to read during the Central Section volleyball playoffs.

But here he was, reading a couple after the No. 7 seed Titans had finished a quick sweep of No. 10 Bakersfield, 25-16, 25-11, 25-14, in the first round of the Division I bracket.

The previous two times the teams had played, the match went five long sets. Not so tonight: Frontier used runs of 16-1 in Game 2 and 12-1 in Game 3 to polish off an impressive victory and advance to play at No. 2 Clovis West in Thursday's quarterfinals.

"We played really well," Titans coach Steve Bentley said. "We got started well and got better."

Bakersfield (16-14) played without standout liberto Noelle Pardo, who was in Texas because of a family emergency.

"It makes a huge difference," BHS coach Denise Dumble said. "Our girls in the back row stepped up and played good defense, but the consistency was missing; we're used to having Noelle pick up everything back there."

Regardless, it was hard to see one player changing the outcome in such a comprehensive victory. Hailee Earnest and Paige Gettman had nine kills each to lead the Titans (27-10), who were also playing without a starter, Shelby Frank.

Gettman added two blocks, and Casey Hulsey had 30 assists and two aces. Hannah Henriksen, who will sign today to play collegiately at Long Beach State, had five kills, and Karlee Cornford had six.

"The biggest thing for us is that we're balanced offensively," Bentley said. "We can run to the middle (blockers), we can run outside. We're not so consistent with where we set. That's a strength of ours."

Samantha Stauch led Bakersfield with 11 kills, and Lorena Ramirez had 16 digs.

It took some time for Frontier to realize its potential against top competition. The Titans started 2-4 in the rough-and-tumble Southwest Yosemite League but won three of their last four, beating Liberty, Stockdale and red-hot Independence. The only loss in that stretch came in five sets at Bakersfield.

"We just had a change in attitude," Gettman said. "We got a little humbled there, and we came back strong. I think we can do really well now."

That theory will be tested at Clovis West, which plays in a small secondary gym that's usually packed with a raucous crowd. But there's no doubt Frontier looked ready for the challenge Tuesday.

"The league has prepared us to play in matches like that," Bentley said. "Early on, we had an inability to finish. We'd take a set here or there, but we couldn't sustain it. Our focus has just been to finish."

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