This morning likely will be a time to check for bruises, find an ice pack and think about the night before.
But when the Frontier volleyball players do all that, it likely will be with fond thoughts, even in a loss.
Frontier, ranked No. 11 in the BVarsity Central Section rankings, gave No. 1 and undefeated Fresno-Central all the Grizzlies could handle before they pulled away 25-15, 16-25, 25-19, 25-19 at Frontier on Tuesday.
“Frontier played real well,” Central coach Randy Burriss said. “Their defense was phenomenal.”
The Titans’ back line took a beating all night, as Grizzlies hitters like Makalya Lewis (15 kills), Maya Riddlesprigger (9 kills), Bailey Combs (8 kills) and Imani Lacy (4 kills) played with power and precision at the net.
Frontier (7-8) rallied for a second-set win and had leads late in each of the final two sets but couldn’t hand Central (19-0) its first loss of the season.
“We’ve been trying to earn points, because we tend to sit back and wait for teams to make mistakes,” Frontier coach Morgan Dake said. “I thought we did a better job of earning points. There is still room for improvement.”
Even after Lacy, who is also a standout basketball player and has a vertical leap so incredible that the 6-foot senior can dunk a tennis ball, injured her ankle in the second set, the Grizzlies continued to play well at the net because of their depth of hitters.
“We’re difficult to play, because we really don’t have that weak link,” Burriss said. “We are hard to play because we have so many players.”
Frontier senior Penelope Zepeda is one of the few Frontier players with extensive varsity experience. The outside hitter is a four-year starter and had a match-high 17 kills and a team-high 14 digs.
“It’s a good learning experience,” Zepeda said. “I thought we fought really hard. It was something that was good experience. I enjoy playing with these girls and in the future, we have a lot to grow on and become a better team.”
Dake, in her first year as her alma mater's head coach, also sees a lot of promise in her young team.
“I don’t think we will be the same team a month from now that we are right now,” Dake said.
Kennadi Nelson added 10 kills and Caroline McCarty nine while Hailey Plugge had 22 assists.
“It’s exciting to see what league has in store for us,” Zepeda said. “Then for the playoffs, that’s what we are all excited for.”