On Saturday, the Half Moon Bay High School girls junior varsity volleyball team traveled to Rohnert Park for the annual NorCal Invitational JV Volleyball Tournament, and the Cougars brought home the championship.

The Cougars fought hard against some tough competition from 16 schools and ended up undefeated in match play.

The day started with pool play. The Cougars didn't lose a set against Sonoma Valley, Lincoln or Cloverdale high schools. Placing first in their pool, the Cougars advanced to the Gold Bracket for playoffs.

The first playoff game against Marin Catholic was a tough, back-and-forth battle for the first set, with the Cougars finally winning, 27-25. In the second set, Marin Catholic came back strong and took the set, 20-25. But the final set was handled well by the Cougars who triumphed, 15-7, winning the match and moving on to the championship game.

The championship game was against a talented, well-coached Cardinal Newman. Cardinal Newman came out with a vengeance and took the first set, 25-21, but the Cougars fought back in the second set and took it handily, 25-17. The final set was full of tension, long rallies and incredible plays. It went neck-and-neck the entire set until the Cougars were finally able to close it out, 17-15, and win the pennant.

Thursday

Girls varsity volleyball

Half Moon Bay 3

Jefferson 0

The Cougars capped off an exciting week with a win over a talented Jefferson High School team.

Jefferson came out strong with big blockers and hard hitters on the outside, but the Cougars' solid passing and strong offense won the match. Mia Etheridge led all hitters with nine kills. Grace Bigelow-Leth and Shea Wakasa each had seven of their own. Tani Vogel once again anchored the defensive effort with 13 digs.

Girls JV volleyball

Half Moon Bay 2

Jefferson 0

The JV team moves to 3-0 in league play with a 2-0 win over the Jefferson Grizzlies. The Cougar offense was led by Emily Lunasin with five aces, Gabby Harrison with four aces and one kill, and Ava Cardiel with four kills. The defense was led by Amelia Ortolan with five digs and Ava Cardiel with four digs.

Sept. 15

Girls varsity volleyball

Half Moon Bay 3

Sequoia 1

All three Cougar teams won at home. The varsity team got out to a hot start in the first two sets with stellar offense from Grace Bigelow-Leth who finished the game with 12 kills and six aces. Mia Etheridge tallied eight kills and two aces. Maisie Eliashof also contributed seven kills on the right side. Tani Vogel anchored the backrow defense with 13 digs, while the tandem setters of Natalie Inglis and Joey Vetrone combined for 36 assists.

The JV team won in two sets with scores 25-5 and 25-11.

The freshman team also started strong. Angelina Yeakley had 10 aces. Kate Billington contributed aces of her own.

Sept. 14

Girls varsity

Half Moon Bay 3

Mills 0

The Cougars swept Mills in straight sets. Natalie Inglis got off to a hot start from the service line as she fired off two early aces and got the team off to an early 6-0 start.

Grace Bigelow-Leth finished with 10 kills. Mia Etheridge contributed eight kills and five aces. Tani Vogel added nine digs and two aces.

Girls JV volleyball

Half Moon Bay 2

Mills 0

The team moves to 2-0 in league play with the defeat of the Mills Vikings. The Cougar offense was led in strong performances by Ava Cardiel with three aces and five kills, Emily Lunasin with two aces and five kills, and Gabby Harrison with an ace and four kills. r

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