Eagles roll into second round after shaky start: Will play Schurr on Thursday night

TEMPLETON — After spending the entire season as being ranked as either the No.1 or No. 2, the Templeton Eagles and Bishop Amat Lancers have been placed on the opposite sides of the Division 6 CIF Southern Section bracket. On Halloween night the Eagles hosted the Whittier Cardinals in their first round match and defeated them in straight sets, extending their winning streak to 16 games to stay undefeated at home this season.

The Eagles have only lost one set since Sept. 15 and haven’t played a real competitive match in over a month, but were tested early on Tuesday.

The first set in Tuesday’s game was thrilling to watch. The Eagles and the Cardinals battled back and forth with each team fighting off at least one set point. After trailing early, 3-1, the Cardinals started to make a run fueled by well-placed serves and self-inflicted errors by the Eagles. Whittier then led for almost the entire set. The Eagles did not regain the lead again until Camryn Roth recorded a huge block with the game tied at 22. There was real energy and intense focus at the Eagles gym for the first time in a long time as the game was tied again at 23, 24 and 25 before the Eagles pulled away, winning 27-25.

Lauren Reeves and Cheyenne Rice took turns delivering devastating kills in the first set and the Eagles length presented problems for the Cardinals outside hitters. The first set was the only one that was close, Maya Kerey reeled off eight consecutive serves in the second set and the Eagles coasted to a 25-11 victory.

“I think we started to read everyone and figure out their gameplan on the other side and really brought it together,” Reeves said of the changes between the first set and the second two.

Templeton finished out the third set winning 25-17 and continuing their streak of dominance. Reeves’ powerful shots propelled the Eagles in the third set, hitting three impressive kills in the final ten points of the game.

“I like it, it’s a good start,” Head Coach Cameron Schaeffer said after the game. “I know it got a little interesting there in the first set but we were able to settle in and I think that first set was just nerves. A lot of them haven’t been in a CIF game before so once they settled in then we played a lot more like we are used to seeing.”

With the victory, the Eagles are on to the second round of the CIF Southern Section playoffs and will play Schurr High School on Thursday night. The Spartans will be the biggest test the Eagles have faced thus far. They have an overall record of 23-5 and like the Eagles went undefeated in through their league play. Schurr also won in straight sets in their first-round matchup defeating Whitney High School 25-14, 25-11, 25-11.


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