The Union Democrat Sports Department

The Sonora Wildcats volleyball team defeated the host Calaveras Redskins 3-1 (23-25, 25-11, 25-23, 25-18) on Friday night in both teams' season opener.

The game was a rematch of last season's first-round playoffs game in which the Wildcats prevailed 3-0.

For Calaveras, Dakota Butzler had a team-high seven kills and also had five blocks, Madison Hull smacked six kills, four blocks and had a team-high nine digs, Brianna McGinness had five kills and four blocks, Kelly Airola had 21 assists and Samantha Baseman added seven digs, four kills and three blocks.

For Sonora, Mariah Armstrong had 11 kills, and Cassidy Knowles and

Savannah Lawrence had 5 kills apiece. Aubrey Carter had two solo blocks

and two block-assists and Armstrong two solo-blocks.

In serving, Armstrong had three aces and Bella Bergamaschi two. In

serve receive, Leah Dambacher led Sonora with 20 and Bailey Henington

had 14. Dambacher had 11 digs and Henington seven. Maria Chacon had 14

assists and Bergamschi seven.

"We knew going over to Calaveras it was going to be a tough first

match," said Sonora head coach Kim Evans. "Calaveras was one win away

from winning their league last year and they have a lot of talented

returning players. They have some hitters out of the middle that we had

a hard time stopping.

"But I'm very proud of our girls after losing a tough first set to be

able to come out so strong in the second. Our captains, Mariah and

Cassidy, did a great job with their play and leadership skills and

Bailey and Leah passed well and ran down some tough balls defensively.

"A big presence on the court was Aubrey Carter who we put into the

match during the second set. She has some skills that she is working to

improve, but it was quite fitting that she got the last kill out of the

middle to win the match."