Young Sierra Captures Program’s First Outright Big 8 Title

Young Sierra Captures Program’s First Outright Big 8 Title

The Sierra College Wolverines, a team with a single sophomore starter, captured the program's first outright conference championship with a 25-14, 25-15, 24-26, 25-15 win over visiting Santa Rosa Jr. College Wednesday afternoon in Rocklin. Sierra (20-5, 14-2 Big 8) clinched at least a tie for the Big 8 title with Sacramento City by beating the Bear Cubs (7-19, 4-12) and then received word from Stockton three hours later that San Joaquin Delta had knocked off the Panthers 3-1 to hand the championship to the Wolverines.
Sierra opened Big 8 play 10-0 but stumbled with back-to-back losses to Folsom Lake and American River the first week of November. After sweeping Diablo Valley, Sierra traveled to Sac City a match behind with two left to play. A 3-1 win over the Panthers at a packed Panther Pavilion gave coach Vera Nelson's Wolverines a season sweep of their crosstown rival and set the table for Wednesday night's clincher.
Freshman outside hitters Kylie Shinn (20 kills) and Grace Lemmo (18) paced a dominant Wolverine offense, while freshman libero Ryan Blackwood's match-high 27 digs led a Sierra defense that has become the team's calling card. Sophomore Stefanie Christofferson closed out her regular season career with nine kills and 10 digs, and freshman setter Ally Wubben strengthened her case for Big 8 MVP with 49 assists, 11 digs, and four kills.
The Wolverines enter the postseason as the north's #3 seed and host #14 De Anza (14-9) Tuesday night (11/22) at Goto/Goldenberg Court in Rocklin.