Cardinals had a Clean Sweep of Matches against Flashes

September 25, 2019
All three Girls Volleyball teams beat Fillmore

By Dan Diaz

Santa Paula Times

Ah …the sweet taste of success. The meat is always sweeter against the bone and when that bone has the juice of a Fillmore victory, it tastes even better. Anytime the Flashes come and bring us a visit, even during warm-ups there is a blanket of electricity in the air.

Varsity Girls: After the Frosh game and Junior Varsity games, the Varsity match becomes the headliner for the evening. With students, faculty, friends, parents and even the Cardinal cheerleaders in the stands the seats have been warmed up with added energy. The first game of the evening was a typical Santa Paula & Fillmore match-up. As the game began, each team battled for offensive possession with the other team bending but not breaking. After trading off with seven serves each, the Cardinal girls with the help of Diana Aguilar serving slowly took a 20 to 13 lead. With Fillmore unable to score more than three points per server, they still chipped away at Santa Paula’s lead. In Volleyball, the games go to 25 points having to win by 2 points or more. After 14 serves for Fillmore and 13 serves for Santa Paula, the Cardinals had offensive possession and were winning by a narrow 24 to 22 margin. As Fillmore received serve and was unable to return a shot, Santa Paula wins the first match 25 to 22. Needing to win the best of five games, Fillmore knew that one win did not mean they have lost the match and came back in the second game with vengeance. After the Flashes took a 10 to 4 lead over the Cardinals, Santa Paula’s Head Coach Candice Bibb takes a time out to gather her troops and regroup. With the Cards Leslie Magana and Sara Cruz creating a back-to-back four points and five-points service run, Santa Paula finds themselves tied with the Flashes at 14 all. This is when both defenses tighten up; nobody else scores more than 1 point and the game inches forward. As Fillmore is serving, the game has the Cardinals sitting on 24 points and the Flashes with 23. Disaster strikes for Fillmore as the incoming serve goes into the net, awarding Santa Paula the point and another win. The third game brought on excitement as the Cardinals wanted to finish off the Flashes and Fillmore was trying to win a game and keep the match going. Being tied at 1 to 1, 4 to 4, 5 to 5, 7 to 7, 8 to 8, 9 to 9, 10 to 10, 11 to 11 and 12 to 12, nobody wanted to lose. Fortunately for the Lady Birds, Enely Jimenez started to serve with a hot hand. After winning seven straight points (including 3 aces) the Cardinal Girls took a 19 to 12 lead that gave them momentum and a mental edge. Unable to recover, the Flashes started to fade and Santa Paula wins the third and deciding game, 25 to 18, winning the match and sweeping Fillmore three games to none. Helping out in the win was, Leslie Magana with 1 ace, 5 kills and 1 dig, Diana Aguilar with 3 aces, 1 assist, 4 kills with 1 block and Jasmin Venegas with 2 aces, 20 assists and 1 dig.

Junior Varsity Girls: Just before the Varsity took the floor for their match, the Junior Varsity teams met and battled it out. In the first game and with Santa Paula’s second service, the Cards Cassandra Tapia got hot early winning five points in a row that gave the Junior Lady Birds an 8 to 1 lead that was never challenged. With Santa Paula holding a 24 to 18 lead, the Cards Anahi Chavez blocked a shot at the net, winning the game point and helping to give the Lady Birds a one game lead. With Junior Varsity and Frosh games it is a best of three to win the match, so winning the first game is very important. In the second game, the match was close with Santa Paula holding a 9 to 7 lead. This was when in back to back serves, the Cardinals Michelle Bazan and Kenya Valdez won 3 points then 5 points jumping the Junior Lady Birds lead 18 to 8. With their heart still in it, but their skill level not close to Santa Paula’s, the Flashes eventually fade away and lose the second and final game of the match 13 to 25. Helping out the Junior Lady Cards sweep the Flashes were, Angelica Avila with 5 assists and 2 digs, Cassandra Tapia with 1 ace, 2 kills and 1 dig, Kenya Valdez with 1 ace, 1 assist and 2 digs, Emily Ramirez with 2 aces with 1 dig and Anahi Chavez with 3 kills and 3 blocks.

Frosh Girls: On the Frosh level, both teams get a feel for competitive play on a High School court. They also get exposed right away to the Santa Paula / Fillmore rivalry and the importance of not so much winning, compared to the priority of not losing. The first game becomes a baptism of fire for both teams as they battle neck and neck. With the game being tied at 1 to 1, 2 to 2, 5 to 5, 7 to 7, 9 to 9, 10 to 10, 17 to 17, 18 to 18, 19 to 19 and 20 to 20, both teams are as even as you can be waiting for a mistake from the other team. Fortunately, the Baby Cards slowly creep forward and held a 24 to 21 lead. Digging in deep Santa Paula’s Valery Bazan serves up an ace that is unreturned giving the Cardinals a one game lead, with one more win for the match. The second game starts out like the first game as both teams tie each other 6 to 6 and 12 to 12. This is when the Baby Lady Birds Mariah Herron takes off and scores 5 unanswered points eventually giving Santa Paula an 18 to 13 lead. They soon learn that a five point lead over your rival can mean nothing as the Baby Flashettes come back and soon tie the game at 20 points apiece. Gradually moving ahead, the Flashes have a 24 to 23 lead and end up winning on a misplay by Santa Paula. With both teams winning one game apiece, the final game and match goes to the first team to score 15 points. As Fillmore jumped out to a 7 to 3 lead, it did not look good for the Baby Birds in Red. But, what is a four point lead when it is a Santa Paula / Fillmore rivalry? Buckling down and not wanting to lose at home, the Lady Cards came back and with Mariah Herron and Valery Bazan scoring back to back with 4 points and 3 points, Santa Paula had a 14 to 11 advantage. Undeterred, the Baby Flashes stood tall, scored two more points and were down 13 to 14. With the crowd cheering and the players on the bench screaming, the Baby Lady Birds won the last point, giving Santa Paula’s Frosh Girls a 15 to 13 win and helping to build a foundation of great matches to come. Helping out the Baby Lady Birds were Gabriela Gamez with 5 assists, Kristina Barrios with 4 kills, 1 block shot and Natalie Segura with 9 aces and 1 dig. Next two home matches are against Malibu on Tuesday October 1st and Hueneme on Thursday October 3rd. Frosh at 4, JV at 5, Varsity at 6 p.m. Don’t forget the Alumni game Saturday October 5th, former players and coaches invited. For more information contact Coach Candace, 805-794-6355 or

Diana Aguilar and Yaharia Gonzales trying to stop a spike.

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