Whitney closes in on league title with win over Antelope

‘Cats subdue Bear River challenge
By: Jim Linsdau, Sports Editor
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After escaping a hard challenge from Bear River earlier last week, the Whitney High boys volleyball team dispatched Antelope with relative ease by downing the Titans in three, 25-14, 25-18, 25-16 April 18.

The Capital Athletic League’s No. 2 Bruins invaded the Wildcats’ campus determined to hand Whitney its first league loss. It didn’t happen, but sets of 15-25, 27-25, 25-16, 21-25 and 15-13 were a bit too close for comfort.

It was a dramatic turnaround from the two club’s first meeting swept by the ‘Cats 3-0.

Whitney head coach Kristen Gideon-Parker said the Bruins admittedly didn’t come to play in the first meeting. In meeting two, the roles reversed.

“They came to play on Tuesday,” said Gideon-Parker, “and we didn’t.”

Thursday, it appeared it would have made little difference in what mindset Antelope came calling; the Wildcats took it to the Titans from the start.

“[I]n practice we looked at our game with Bear River and we tried to address all the different aspects we needed to improve on,” said first-year Whitney athlete Kalen Harris, “especially blocking we worked on a lot and then serve receive and communicating as a team mostly.”

Harris contributed seven kills against Antelope, successfully received 12 serves and had three blocks.

Junior David Parker turned in his usual outstanding performance hammering Antelope in game one with five kills and sophomore Cavin Steward shredded the Titan’s defense with four aces. Parker ended the three sets with 15 kills in all coming on 29 attacks.

“We played much better tonight,” Coach Gideon-Parker said. “The team, itself, was much more supportive of each other. Even when it did get a little bit close or when we put substitutes in they were much more supportive of each other, much more focused on the game.”

The ‘Cats had 16 blocks against the Titans and picked up only 13 in five sets against the Bruins.

Nick Corbitt had five blocks and Sean Gaspar and Stewart added three each. David Smith had 11 successful service receptions.

Coach Gideon-Parker said Whitney’s magic number is one to claim the league title.

CAL – Whitney (11-0), Bear River (6-4), Rio Americano (6-5), Placer (3-7), Antelope (3-8), El Camino (3-8).

Schedule – at Rio Americano April 25, El Camino April 30, at Bear River May 2.