The upper lake High School junior varsity volleyball team recovered from a set down to defeat the Clear Lake Cardinals 22-25, 27-25, 15-12 in the finals of the second annual Cougar Invitational in Upper Lake, despite falling to Clear Lake twice in pool play on Saturday. When Anderson Valley’s squad initially showed up at the Upper Lake gym but almost immediately loaded back up in their van for the ride home, the pool play lineup had to be changed at the last minute.
According to Upper Lake head coach Fawn Rave, “they left during the first game versus Clear Lake.” “They simply left without explaining their departure to us.” Clear Lake won all three of their pool games to get to the final. The Cardinals, led by Phil Psalmonds, who was standing in for his daughter Morgan Psalmonds, the JV head coach, who was away on vacation with Phil’s wife Marci, the varsity head coach, the Cardinals defeated Middletown 25-21, 23-25, 15-5, and twice defeated Upper Lake, 26-24, 25-16 and 25-23, 25-18.
In order to finish second in pool play and earn a second chance against Clear Lake in the final game, Upper Lake defeated Middletown 25-19, 18-25, and 15-4. The third meeting ended in a victory for the Cougars. A real nailbiter remarked Rave. Each squad performed superbly. At times, it was a point for point, and we had some effective rallies.
We experienced some ups and downs throughout the day, but we rallied as a team to secure the victory, said Rave. In the championship game, Ashlyn Wurm contributed four aces, three kills, and three assists, Hope Marcks added seven kills and five assists, Angelina Rivera added three aces and three blocks, and All-Tournament selection Triniti Kuecker had ten digs and four kills. Amiee Schaefers led the Cougars with eight kills.
I am so pleased with the girls, added Rave. Triniti Kuecker was named All-Tournament because of her tireless efforts in the front, back, and service lines throughout the day. She is a fantastic player overall, so I seldom ever have to direct her. Psalmonds, who is also the head coach of the girl’s basketball team at Clear Lake and an assistant coach for softball, acknowledged that his lack of volleyball expertise didn’t help the Cardinals, but nonetheless praised the performance of his team, with varsity players Abby Mertle, Sierra Bruch, and Quincy Paarsch serving as assistant coaches on the Clear Lake bench. For Clear Lake, Atiana Patino received All-Tournament recognition.
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