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Sierra serves up sweep against Johansen
TWolves one match away from completing non-league undefeated
Sierra High outside hitter Alison Armstrong tips it over with Johansen’s Jocelyn Davison (12) and Juliette Salciccia waiting on the other side during Thursday’s non-league contest. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Chelsea Bereta got into a nice groove from the service line, where Sierra High was especially effective in its three-game shutout of visiting Johansen Thursday.

The returning senior, one of five for the still-undefeated Timberwolves, served in 14 straight points in the third game and directly scored six of them herself — five on aces, and one with a kill from the back row.

With Sierra leading 23-7 at the time, Bereta was anxious to tally Sierra’s fourth straight win to start the year.

Her last serve sailed long by inches.

“I hate how I had two points left and I totally missed it,” she said after the 56-minute match.

Bereta finished with seven kills and two digs to go with 16 service points — all team highs.

Save for a few rough patches where the Timberwolves allowed Johansen to stick around, they more or less dominated throughout as evidenced by the 25-2, 25-13 and 25-8 scores.
The winless Vikings took just four leads in the match, but first-year Sierra coach Trinity Johnson would have liked to see her team tidy things up some.

“There’s always room for improvement,” she said. “We have difficulty playing our game constantly; we tend to play down (to the level of competition). Hopefully when we play some of the better teams we play up.”

Sierra started the match flawlessly.

Sophomore Gabby Olmo served in seven straight points to help the Timberwolves mound an 8-0 lead. Her next serve went long for the Vikings’ first point, but their inability to execute first passes continued to plague them for the remainder of the opening game. On separate occasions, two different Johansen players had the ball bounce off their faces on serve-receive opportunities.

Sierra, meanwhile, could do no wrong. The ball touched the floor on its side just once; 6-foot middle blocker Naya Crittenden slapped down a kill for Johansen’s only other point of the game.

Sierra’s court coverage was otherwise impressive, and outside hitter Alysia Atkins hammered half of her six total kills in the game.

“We had our heads in the game,” Johnson said. “They were focused and they were out there to get the job done.

“Gabby started off great in the first game. It set the tone, and I was happy with how she played tonight being just a sophomore.”

Olmo turned in six assists and nine services points, seven of which went for aces.

Sierra has one more non-conference match remaining, West-Tracy on the road next Wednesday, before hosting 2009 Valley Oak League runner-up Sonora Sept. 16.