Beaumont volleyball

Photo by John Murphy

Vivian Lisboa (left, dark jersey) was dominant at the net for Beaumont.

BY JOHN MURPHY

For the Record Gazette

The first four matches of Beaumont High’s maiden Citrus Belt League volleyball season produced a perfect record for the Cougars. But they didn’t ease coach Jessica Granados’ mind.

“On paper, our record is great,” Granados said after her team’s 3-2 victory Wednesday, Sept. 22 against visiting Yucaipa. “But this league is so tough. I think ignorance is bliss and coming into the league not knowing anything I was kind of more relaxed. But now seeing everyone and how close it’s been and how good everybody is, I think I’m more nervous.”

Beaumont withstood a furious Yucaipa comeback to win 25-17, 25-15, 21-25, 15-25, 15-7. It was the Cougars’ second five-set victory of the week after defeating Cajon on Sept. 20.

The victory kept the Cougars (11-2, 4-0) alone in first place in the Citrus Belt League.

The Thunderbirds (2-2 in league) were coming off a 3-0 victory against Citrus Valley on Sept. 20 and hoped a victory against Beaumont would create a tie at the top of the standings.

Consecutive kills by Avery McIntyre and an ace by Madeline Brown put Beaumont ahead 3-0 in the fifth set.

Yucaipa finally earned a sideout and then surged to a 5-4 lead on a stuff block by Saela Wardlow.

The Thunderbirds still had a 6-5 lead when Beamont scored the next four points to take control at 9-6 and prompt a Thunderbird timeout.

Kylie Proctor’s kill nudged Yucaipa to within 9-7, but then Beaumont scored the final six points to close out the match.

The finale came ona dump shot by Brown, the athletic Cougar setter who is attracting the interest of NCAA Division I schools.

“She’s fun to watch,” Granados said of the junior. “She’s special. If I could just have her everywhere — have her dig the ball and go set it, and then hit that same ball, I would.”

Said senior 6-foot-1 middle hitter Vivian Lisboa, “Maddie is the control tower of the court. She calls the plays and her job is to get the ball to the right person. She does a fantastic job.”

McIntyre and Lisboa both had five kills in the final set.

The finale was a stark contrast to sets three and four which were dominated by Yucaipa.

“I didn’t expect our team to fall that low for such a long time,”Lisboa said. “But I’m glad we got it together.”

Said Brown, “Our energy just went down and then we kept making stupid errors.”

Phoebie Miller led the Thunderbirds with 15 kills and junior 6-3 middle blocker Kylie Proctor added 10.

Lisboa, McIntyre and sophomore 6-1 outside hitter Grace Lee each had 11 kills for Beaumont.

Last weekend Yucaipa played in the Freeway Games tournament in Corona and went 3-2 to tie for fifth out of 29 teams.

“It was a great weekend for the girls,” Yucaipa coach Amber von Kaenel said. “We played some really good competition and the girls really stepped up their level of play.”

Notable for Yucaipa was a 2-1 victory against Los Osos.

Proctor hit for a .492 average, setter Kaitlyn Busby averaged 20.2 assists per match to earn all-tournament, and libero Sara Graham averaged 10.4 digs per match.

Staff Writer John Murphy may be reached a jmurphy@redlandscommunitynews.net .

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