’Jackets now 26-0 in ACCAL, should host playoff game
The Berkeley High girls’ volleyball team finished up the regular season with yet another ACCAL win on Wednesday, beating De Anza in straight games, 15-1, 15-5, 15-7.
Berkeley is now 26-0 in its first two seasons in the league, and improved its overall record this season to 27-6.
It was Senior Night on Wednesday, with a pregame ceremony honoring Desiree Guilliard-Young, Latisha Harris and Emily Friedman for their contributions to the program. Guillard-Young got some special attention, as she is now the school record-holder for career and single-season marks in kills, solo blocks and team blocks. The 6-foot-5 middle blocker will continue her career at Baylor University next year.
Berkeley was missing two key players, Vanessa Williams and Ilana Barr, due to injury.
De Anza (12-10, 10-4) proved to be a tough opponent for the depleted ’Jackets, putting up more resistance than the final score indicates. But they were simply overpowered by the Berkeley front line, with Guilliard-Young racking up 10 kills and three blocks and junior Amalia Jarvis, filling in at outside hitter, making nine kills and nine digs.
The ’Jackets made it much harder on themselves by serving terribly. The committed 13 serving errors, making it tough to get a rally going. In fact, Berkeley didn’t have a run of more than three points the entire night.
“If we ever get to a point where we’re not missing a million serves, we’ll be pretty good,” Berkeley head coach Justin Caraway said.
Next up for the ’Jackets is the opening round of the North Coast Section playoffs, where they have lost in each of the last three seasons. With only eight teams making the cut in Division I, there are no easy wins on the horizon, but Caraway thinks his team can do some damage.
“We match up pretty well with most of the other teams,” he said. “If we’re focused and understand that we can beat anyone out there, we can.”
As a league champion, the ’Jackets should get a home game for their opening match on Tuesday. The only way they would have to go on the road is if they are going against another league champion that earns a higher seed. Caraway considers that unlikely, saying the ’Jackets should get a No. 3 or 4 seed, competing with James Logan and Castro Valley for a top spot.
“We ought to be getting a home game to start,” he said. “Our league may not be as strong as some others, but we’ve beaten some good teams along the way.”