Eagles climb to No. 4 in D2

Winners of eight straight

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Templeton Eagles girls volleyball team has caught their stride and returned to the form that had them as one of the top-ranked teams in the area a year ago. After shredding through the Los Padres League a year ago while still returning their top players and other key contributors the Eagles (12-5) moved up into the Mountain League with the Central Coast’s move into the Central Section.

Initially, Templeton struggled out of the gate losing their first three league games. The Eagles looked out of sync and were dealing with injuries to some of their stars. Since losing, 3-0, to Arroyo Grande at home on Sept. 11, the Eagles have won eight straight Mountain League games and with win at Righetti on Thursday night, Oct. 15, they will finish with the same record as SLO and in second place in the Mountain League.

“I think we made adjustments to the league,” head coach Cameron Schaeffer said. “We understood that we weren't going to be able to get into this league and be able to be successful unless we understand that we have to be more disciplined. We have to play harder, we have to work harder to be able to compete with these teams and overcome them.”

The Eagles’ recent winning streak has not only increased their standing in the Mountain League, but Templeton has risen all the way up to the No. 4 ranked team in Division 2 as they head into the playoffs next week.

“Especially with the format where higher seed gets home that can be great,” Schaeffer said. “Being able to go two, maybe three rounds with home games. We would love that because travel, especially in the playoffs, can be hard on a team and it gives us more time to prepare and more time to rest up right before.”

The winning streak started with a 3-1 win over Paso Robles on Sept. 18 and the Eagles only surrendered four total sets over there first four games as they defeated the Bearcats, the Royals and the Tigers handily. The next two games for the Eagles were five-set, must-win battles over Atascadero and Arroyo Grande.

On Oct. 4 the girls fell behind the Hounds 2-0 at home, losing the first two games 25-20, 25-14. Templeton battled back in the third and fourth set narrowly winning 25-23 and 25-22, respectively, before running away with the fifth game after they drained the life out of Atascadero.

Five days later the Eagles faced Arroyo Grande and again found themselves in a 2-0 hole. Just as they did in the previous match, Templeton began fighting their way back by spreading their offense around to their three offensive stars in Jenna Kelly, Lauren Reeves and Cheyenne Rice. For the second time in as many games, they were able to come back after being down 2-0 to win 3-2 against the top two teams in the PAC 5 a year ago.

Tuesday night the newly fourth-ranked team traveled over the grade to take on the Mission Prep Royals and cruised to victory in four games 3-1. The Eagles’ offense is nearly unstoppable, the combination of Rice and Reeves combined with the added power of Kelly, and at times, Carli Dugan is devastating for opponents especially when setter Camryn Roth is mixing up where she is going to place the ball.

The only potential weak spot for Templeton is in their serving which at times can become a little inaccurate, but has continued to improve over the season.

"I would say we have definitely made progress mentally,” Schaeffer said. “There is still times where I think we could clean it up a little bit, especially on the serving end. We tend to make a few too many service errors at times, but overall I think our gameplay, our offense and defense has definitely started clicking more and that has definitely helped us over these eight games.”


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