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Thunder top Benicia; will host St. Francis Tuesday

By: Russ Edmondson The Placer Herald
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Rocklin High’s varsity volleyball squad, ranked No. 2 in Division II for the Sac-Joaquin Section, topped visiting No. 7 Benicia in three games (26-24, 25-18, 25-11) Thursday night. Now the Thunder will host No. 3 St. Francis at 7 p.m. Tuesday to see who will play either No. 1 Oak Ridge or No. 4 Bella Vista for the section title. The section championship will be held at UC Davis on Nov. 20. St. Francis beat Rocklin in the DII finals last year. “We want revenge – to get them back and show them what type of team we are,” said Rocklin senior outside hitter Hannah Anderson about the upcoming match against St. Francis. “I haven’t seem them a whole lot,” said Rocklin coach Dave Muscarella about St. Francis. “But they are not quite as good as they were last year but they did go undefeated in their league.” Benicia was very tough against Rocklin in Game 1 Thursday night. The Panthers led 24-20 at one point before Rocklin got a side out and then senior Lori Yokomizo served for the final five points of the game. Thunder senior Janelle Currey had a kill to put Rocklin up 25-24 and Rocklin junior Corissa Santos ended the game with a kill. “We were a little shaken up,” said Anderson about that first game. “We hadn’t had a team come out with that much heart against us.” Muscarella called two timeouts during that opening game. “I call timeouts to break momentum and settle our kids down and to give them some feedback on what we can do,” Muscarella said. “Benicia is a good team and they control hit the ball. During Game 1 they were playing with a lot of adrenaline.” The Thunder settled down after the first game and won the match. “The biggest difference between Games 2 and 3 and that Game 1 was our serving,” Muscarella said. Rocklin had to deal with a group of opposing fans that were arguably louder than the home fans. “We want some rowdy rooters (on Tuesday),” Anderson said.