Western Sierra closes in on league championship

Alpha Charter falls in three
By: Jim Linsdau, Sports Editor
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On Senior Night, the Western Sierra Collegiate Academy defeated visiting Alpha Charter 3-0 Thursday to tighten their grip on the Northern Pacific Athletic Conference No. 1 spot.

The Wolves recognized two seniors from the Charter Angels and their own Jerolyn Palacios.

“At first, I was kind of sad because I didn’t want to be the only senior (on the team),”Palacios said. “But these girls made me feel a part of this team even though I was the only odd-one-out, the only senior.”

Western Sierra is undefeated in league (7-0) with an overall record of 12-6. The victory over Alpha Charter virtually sealed the NPAC crown for WSCA, with two games remaining. It will be the Wolves’ first league championship.

“Overall, the girls all get along. They’re a team,” said head coach Allison Dowd, now in her second season. “They’re really positive with each other; they’re always supporting each other. Their unity has really brought them through this season.

“I lost a lot of seniors, but that means I have a lot of girls growing into their positions and it’s really fun seeing how they’ve evolved as a team cohesively and individually.”

Led by juniors Brenna Mellish and Emily MacIntyre, the academy appears to be hitting on all cylinders. They will enter the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Playoffs for the fourth straight year, but they are yet to make it past the first round.

“We’ve really improved a lot from last year with the new girls this year. We’re going to do way better,” said Palacios, who has played varsity all four years for Western Sierra. “We’re going to get to our first playoff game and we’re going to make it to our second playoff game this year.”

From her libero position against Alpha Charter, Placios had four digs. Mellish dug out six Angels’ attacks and Olivia Droen two.

Sophomore Moriah Kawas led the club with six kills, MacIntyre had five and Mellish four. Mellish also put up 16 assists.

MacIntyre had 21 serves, Mellish 15 and Tyce Womeldorf eight. Isabel Schwarz and Womeldorf had three serves received apiece and Sierra Katz two. Schwarz and Katz are sophomores.

Western Sierra could go into the playoffs as the No. 6 seed, their highest seeding to date. Depending on the Division V final bracket, they could receive a home match for round one of the playoffs.

“We’ve really done our best to give ourselves a versatile season to help us prepare for playoffs,” Dowd said. “I think that just having the team that I have I think it will be really, really good. Depending on who we play, I think it will be really good."