One Santa Maria Valley team that has advanced to a CIF title game will be hitting the road. The other will be coming home.
The St. Joseph girls tennis team will play for a CIF Central Section championship Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m. The Knights will travel to Fresno County to play at Sanger High, the top seed in the Division 2 bracket.
Meanwhile, the Righetti girls volleyball team will make its return to the Santa Maria Valley after playing for the CIF-CS Division 3 championship last weekend in Visalia, where the Warriors fell to Fresno Memorial in a five-set thriller. Righetti earned a CIF State playoff spot and will host North Hollywood Oakwood. That match is part of the SoCal Division 4 first round.
The St. Joseph girls tennis team faces a Sanger team that has cruised to the divisional title game. The Apaches are 22-4 on the season and 10-0 in the County/Metro Athletic Conference. They beat Templeton 7-2 in the quarterfinals before fending off Atascadero 6-3 in the semifinals last week.
The 16-year-old junior from Buellton seamlessly blends a full college prep workload while competing on three of the Pirates’ athletic teams and has started a school club — and he does it all while maintaining a perfect 5.0 grade point average.
St. Joseph beat Atascadero twice in Mountain League play, including a 5-4 marathon win over the Knights. St. Joseph has played without one of its top players throughout the postseason as MJ Lundberg has been battling through a leg injury.
The Knights made it to the final with a 6-3 win over Bakersfield Centennial and a 6-3 win over Visalia El Diamante in the first round.
St. Joseph, as the second seed in the division, had a first-round bye, as did Sanger.
Warriors host Oakwood tonight
The Righetti girls volleyball team will be hosting Oakwood in the state playoffs. The Gorillas are 17-8 on the year and won the CIF Southern Section Division 8 championship over the weekend.
Righetti lost to Memorial in the Division 3 title game for the Central Section, falling 3-2.
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Brayan Nunez has been a catcher in baseball since his Little League days.
Kyra Allen, with 340, was the team's leader in kills going into the state match. Mackenzie Kestler had 320 kills on the year and Katrina MacKinnon had 245.
In Saturday's Central Section title match against the Panthers, Righetti had a 2-1 advantage in sets and a 14-12 lead in the fifth and deciding set before Memorial scored the final four points to win 16-14.
If the Warriors win Tuesday, they will likely host the winner of the Vista Tri-City Christian-Claremont Webb Schools match on Thursday in the second round of the regional playoffs. The winner then advances to the SoCal regional semifinals.
Santa Maria Valley has slim pickings remaining in the football playoffs.
After battling top seed San Joaquin Memorial’s block for so long in this championship match, the Righetti volleyball team couldn’t deal with it at the most critical time.
St. Joseph, the No. 6 seed in the CIF Central Section Division 2 playoffs, is at No. 3 seed Visalia Redwood in the quarterfinals Friday night. St. Joseph is 8-3 and riding a six-game win streak. Redwood is 10-1 on the year.
VCA is the other Santa Maria Valley team remaining in the playoffs. The 8-man football squad will play at top seed Bloomington Christian in the quarterfinals of the CIF Central Section Division 2 playoffs Saturday night at 5:30 p.m.