The Stone Ridge Christian High School volleyball players posed for photos with their new blue banner. They wore their new section championship hats with wide smiles on their faces.
Some had to fight back tears, including first-year coach Jessica Pinasco-Radomskiy.
The No. 4 seeded Knights knocked off top-seeded Vacaville Christian in the semifinals and turned around on Saturday to defeat No. 2 Sacramento Country Day 25-13, 25-20, 25-21 to win the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI championship at Modesto Junior College.
It was SRC’s first volleyball section title since 2019.
“I can’t talk about these girls without crying,” said Pinasco-Radomskiy, whose team improved to 24-11 on the season. “I’m so proud of them, this is all them.”
The Knights used the same recipe for success that paved the route to the section finals by playing strong defense, controlling the ball and playing smart.
“There was a lot of hard work and dedication,” said senior libero Cali Cole. “We trust each other.”
Cole and Amy Villa helped anchor the back row and made it tough for the Cavaliers to find holes in the Stone Ridge Christian defense. It also kept Sacramento Country Day from being able to go on any extended runs throughout the match.
“Any time we had a miscommunication or mistake we’re able to recover instantly and get back on our game,” Pinasco-Radomskiy said. “In a big match like this that is huge. If you give up a big run you might not have enough time to come back. When we gave up one or two points we were able to get the ball back.”
Cole led the way with 22 digs and Villa added 10.
Meanwhile, the Knights offense plugged away with players such as McKynna Baer, Mikyla Beene and Peyton Shaw leading the way. Baer finished with 13 kills, Beene added three and Shaw chipped in with eight kills, 19 digs and three aces. Sarah Raya recorded 17 assists and Madeline Schnoor chipped in with 16.
Stone Ridge Christian was able to seize control of each game and expand upon its lead until the Knights were able to put the Cavaliers away.
“We all believed we could do it,” Baer said. “We all have trust in each other and when we talk, we encourage each other.”
The journey to the blue banner gave the Knights plenty of reason to celebrate on Saturday.
“It’s very exciting,” Cole said. “It’s a great way to leave your senior year.”
The Knights’ season will now continue with the Northern California Regional Playoffs, which begin next week. The CIF will release the seeding and matchups on Sunday.