BVH girls’ volleyball secures their first CIF win of the season

Oct.+26+in+the+Bonita+Vista+High+%28BVH%29+gymnasium+against+Ramona+High+School+%28RHS%29s+girls+varsity+volleyball.+Varsity+volleyball+player+and+senior+Jaden+Mojica+spikes+the+ball+at+their+first+California+Interscholastic+Federation+%28CIF%29+game.+

Stephanie Lomeli

Oct. 26 in the Bonita Vista High (BVH) gymnasium against Ramona High School (RHS)’s girls’ varsity volleyball. Varsity volleyball player and senior Jaden Mojica spikes the ball at their first California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) game.

The clock ticks down to one minute and 43 seconds as the opposing teams make their way onto the court. 40 seconds, the timer reads, as Ramona High School (RHS)’s girls’ varsity volleyball team shouts their chant. Following soon after, the shouts of Bonita Vista High (BVH)’s girls’ varsity volleyball team fill BVH’s gym.

The Lady Barons had their first California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) game on Oct. 26 in the BVH gymnasium. The rest of their games will be home games since the team is first in Division Two, after winning last year’s CIF. With BVH winning 3-0 sets, the beginning of their CIF journey is off to a great start. 

BVH gains the first point in the first set. Setter, outside hitter and senior Jaiden Mojica (3) serves first and hits it to RHS’s side. The ball flies back to BVH, where middle and senior Alani Keeran (7) blocks it, bringing the score to 1-0. 

The first set progresses with BVH racking points and RHS gaining points through their defense. Notably, Mojica lightly hits the ball over the net, making RHS scramble for the ball. However, as they miss, BVH calls a time-out at 9-5.

After the minute time-out, the first set resumes. BVH received two points, making the score 16-10 because of a foul on the opposing team. This gives BVH an advantage and closes out the first set quickly.

Right side, middle back and senior Alina Inzunza (1) closes out the first set strong, as her serves pass RHS’ defense. She gains two points for BVH, bringing the volleyball team to a score of 24-18. Mojica’s serve gives BVH the last point needed to win the first set. 

“Serving [was one of our strengths]. I feel like we got a bunch of aces and we’re consistent a lot of the time,” Inzunza said.

BVH starts the second set with a strong lead of 3-0. Inzunza’s serves and blocks secures BVH the lead. The score reads 11-1. As Inzunza would be the first to serve, the team would join in pushing offensively based on the serve. Inzunza brings the score to 13-1 when she first serves and Mojica has the final hit against RHS. 

The rest of the second set proceeds smoothly, with the girls’ sneakers squeaking against the gym floor. The crowd does not hesitate to cheer on and encourage libero and junior Hayley Frushon after she experiences a quick fall during the second set. With the crowd’s encouragement, Frushon continues to play the rest of the game.

Everyone that came [today] had good energy”

— Right side, middle back and senior Alina Inzunza

“Before we’ve had more people come, but I think it was hard since tickets are bought online. Everyone that came [today] had good energy though,” Inzunza said.

The second set closed out with a score of 25-13, with Mojica serving and Keeran getting the final hit. The girls’ voices fill the gym as they call for the ball, and the crowds’ eyes follow the ball as it travels through the air. 

With BVH having won two sets out of three, the girls prepare for the third set of the night. In the last two sets, BVH had the first point and the lead. RHS gained the lead after scoring the first point of the third set.

This prompted girls’ varsity volleyball head coach Ahmad Rice to up his coaching from the sidelines. For Inzunza, however, she felt assured that they would secure the third and last set for their first win of the CIFs.

“This is one of those things where you just gotta sit back, let things up, see what happens and then go from there. I started coaching them up and more like that,” Rice said. 

The third set continues to be close, as the score moves from 4-5 to 5-5. During the third set, outside and defensive specialist Ed(2) serves. For Letuli, this would be her first game as part of the girls’ varsity volleyball team and in the CIF season. The volleyball team and crowd show Letuli endless support through a rhythmic chant, “She’s a freshman!”

“It feels great. [But] it’s definitely hard being the only freshman on the team because I have to prove myself,” Letuli said.

RHS takes advantage of the lead, closing the third set. The set progresses from a score of 17-15 to 21-18. BVH had lost two points to RHS in a row. Letuli didn’t feel angry, but the desire to get more points increased.

As a result, BVH won the third set, 25-18. Mojica serves and the ball travels back and forth, across the court three times until Inzunza delivers the final hit. The ball doesn’t come back to BVH’s side and this final set secures BVH’s first CIF game win.

“[The win in this game was] definitely a good start. First win. [I] hope we play well in our next CIF games and keep it going,” Letuli said.

Inzunza shares the same sentiment. Coming back from last year, she hopes to make it to state and win state. For Rice, he believes this game serves as a good foundation for the rest of the CIF games.

“Right now, we’re in a really good headspace because this will be our second run at the CIF title in a different division, back to back,” Rice said. “It’s a pretty rare opportunity we want to try to take advantage of as much as possible.”