Officially, the Aug. 26 match between Galt and Liberty Ranch’s volleyball teams didn’t count in the record books, but one would never have known it judging by the rabid effort by both teams in rallying for points inside Warrior Gym.
The game made school history, as the Warriors won their first-ever varsity games against Liberty Ranch since Liberty Ranch opened in 2009.
The Warriors rebounded from a 25-12 loss in the first game to take the lead in the second game early on.
That effort was marked with a dedicated effort by the Warriors, who worked to save shots that were headed out of bounds and recovered from a 19-19 tie to win 25-22.
The win set the Warriors on fire during the Foundation game, which is played annually by Sac-Joaquin Section member schools before the volleyball season to help raise money for scholarships.
With the match tied, the Warriors took the lead in the third game using several nice kills, as well as unforced errors by the Hawks and a patient Galt offense in their 25-18 win.
With the Warriors on the verge of a win for the night, they started game four with a continued dedication on the court, including one leaping attack by a player who tumbled to the ground in her effort to win the point.
The Hawks rallied to take the lead 11-10, however, and never looked back, winning 25-17.
The Hawks withstood several athletic plays by the Warriors in the fifth game to win the game 15-2 and continue their win streak over Galt.
“We obviously let them back in it when we allowed them to win that second set and they had momentum going. I told my girls, if you allow them to win that second set, they’re going to have all that momentum and they’re going to come out on fire and they did in the third set. We couldn’t pass the ball and we couldn’t serve the ball. The bottom line is in the first set and the fifth set, we passed, we served and we hit the ball where we were supposed to,” Hawk coach Mark Snow said.
The game was a match-up between Snow and his former Liberty Ranch volleyball player Grace Celli, who took over the head coach position at Galt this year.
Abby Abarca, a former Warrior volleyball player, coached last season for the Warriors.
Snow noted that Celli provided a spark for the program that had been hoping to do damage on the court against their cross-town rival.
“Grace used to play for me. Someone that understands the game, to help those kids along is going to be huge for their whole program. To me, getting someone who’s played at a high level, which she’s done her whole life, that’s the right move for them to get these kids moving forward,” Snow said.
Makynna Snow, Bailey Furtado, Kaydence Stormes and Emma Pearson and Eliana Pearson are all returning players for the Hawks, who only lost three players last season.
“I’m extremely proud of my girls. They made history in Galt tonight as the first team to take two sets away from Liberty Ranch. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season,” Celli said afterward.
Celli noted that the momentum shift in the fourth game was to be expected given the style of play of both schools, but they’ll work to improve in several areas moving forward.
“We need to work on finishing for sure. We’ll bounce back, we always do,” said Celli.
Celli said she is proud to be coaching in her hometown and that stability is hopefully something the program will have now.
“I always want to stay local and I know this program hasn’t had a distinct program head in a long time. I’m the fourth varsity coach in four years. I hope to be around for a long time and really build a program in Galt and keep the program competitive,” said Celli.
Hailey Sanchez, Mizan Johnson and Olivia Valdez are the Warriors’ team captains as well as returning players.
Galt’s next game is Sept. 3 against Chavez at home while the Hawks will host Franklin of Elk Grove at home on Thursday.