With just one week of Moore League play left, Wilson and Millikan faced each other in what was essentially a third-place match on Thursday afternoon in the Howard Lyon Gymnasium–neither team has any remaining matches against the league’s playoff teams. It was a back-and-forth five-set thriller but it was the Bruins that came out on top, 19-25, 25-22, 25-16, 11-25, 17-15.
Wilson was without Gabby Sonnhalter, who was sitting out with the ankle injury she sustained last week against Lakewood. Sonnhalter said she expects to be good to go when the playoffs start in two weeks.
“I thought tonight took a level of grit,” said Wilson coach Carlos Briceno. “I’d like to see us keep getting more aggressive but we did a good job of not letting the lows be too low and bouncing back after that fourth set.”
Rarely is it the case that a high school libero controls a match but Wilson senior Presley Parker was a stabilizing force in the back row with 38 digs in five sets, adding four aces as well.
“Presley does so many things well, she hits, she passes, and she serves,” said Briceno. “When we’re struggling offensively it’s like, ‘Do we have her go hit?’ But she’s so valuable passing out of the back row.”
The Rams took the first set but Wilson came storming back, with a 5-0 service run from Parker to give them an early lead and a 6-0 run from Parker to put them up 23-19. The story was the same in the third set, where Wilson led almost wire to wire. The Rams came roaring back in the fourth set, jumping out to a 15-5 lead and then cruising to a win.
Setter Anna Becker was sharp for Millikan with 43 assists, 10 digs and four kills. Her favorite target was Annaliese Guthmann, who had nine kills in the match.
The fifth set featured four tape aces, with Millikan libero Julia Campbell getting two as part of a 5-0 run that took the Rams from down 13-8 to tied in the match. Campbell finished with 20 digs and four aces.
After Wilson got match point on a kill from Risa Sena, Becker dumped one over the net to tie it at 14. The Bruins eventually won on a kill and a block from Elliot Barron. Sena led Wilson with 18 kills in the match.
“I’m really glad we won, it’s my senior year and I didn’t want to lose to them again,” said Parker, who was one of many Bruins that had revenge on their minds this year after a loss to Millikan in 2017.
The teams will await the CIF-SS playoff brackets which will be released next weekend.