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By Rod Thornburg / Special to The Californian
BY STEVE LYNCH Special to The Californian
There should be no more underestimating the Bakersfield High volleyball team.
Not after the way the Drillers played Tuesday night.
Unhappy with its seeding for the Central Section Division I playoffs, No. 11 BHS was dominant in a 25-18, 25-20, 25-11 first-round sweep of No. 6 Garces.
Amanda Schoene had 10 kills and Olivia Porter added 8 kills and 9 digs for the visiting Drillers, who dispatched the Rams in just over an hour.
"It got me really mad (that we were seeded so low)," Schoene said. "I think that's why I was so pumped up for this game."
BHS (14-12) never trailed in the first or third games, grabbing the lead quickly and then pulling away.
In Game No. 2 the Drillers were faced with a bit more of a challenge from the Southeast Yosemite League champs.
Garces (19-9) led 2-0 after an ace by Jackie Root. But the Drillers didn't stay down long, going on a 16-9 run, highlighted by strong defense by Nicole Pardo and several hard kills by Schoene and Porter.
"The last week we just turned it on," said BHS coach Denise Dumble Adams. "Our youth is starting to mature a little bit and we're doing our jobs."
Pardo, the Drillers libero, had 26 digs.
"She was awesome," Dumble Adams said.
The loss snapped Garces' five-match winning streak.
C.J. West provided Garces with most its offensive firepower. The freshman led the Rams with 7 kills and had several highlight-worthy blocks.
Despite her 6-foot-2 presence in the middle of the net, BHS found a way to score as Schoene and Porter attacked from the outside most of the time.
"Last week with Senior Night and some other things happening, they've really stepped it up," Dumble Adams said of the senior co-captains. "They've been consistent but their leadership wasn't as strong as the last week and a half.
Dumble Adams said she too thought that the Drillers were under-seeded.