TEMPLETON— For the fifth consecutive week the Templeton Eagles are ranked in the top 2 in Division 6 of the CIF Southern Section. On Tuesday, Templeton hosted the Lompoc Braves and their full dominance was on display, beating them in straight sets and playing with a certain looseness that only top teams can play with. Every girl was relaxed, the crowd was relaxed, even the coach was relaxed as everyone in the building knew who the top team was and that there wasn't a thing that Lompoc could do to stop them. Girl after girl would head back to the service line and reel off a run of serves leaving the Lompoc defenders befuddled and discombobulated. Templeton won the match in straight sets going 25-8, 25-14, and 25-12.
“Tonight is probably one of the best games that we have played this season,” Head Coach Cameron Schaeffer said after the match Tuesday. “On every aspect, defense, serving, hitting this was probably our best.”
An aura of complete confidence surrounded each and every individual wearing green and white. The Eagles were able to play many different players over the course of the night and those players who don't often see a lot of time made the most of their opportunities. Their defense was superb but with their offense being so effective it really reduced the amount of defense that was needed. On more than one occasion the Eagles would serve four or five consecutive times without the ball ever returning over the net. If the Braves were able to get the ball over the net it was more often than not a gentle bloop tapped over from a girl that had her back turned to the net, just trying to keep it in play. Cheyenne Rice has returned for the Eagles and looked dominant in the playing time that she received, and Lauren Reeves also played but not as much as Eagles fans are accustomed to seeing.
Rice finished the game as the offensive leader for the Eagles registering eight kills to go along with five aces. Valen Shaw also played well for the Eagles, finishing second with five kills and Camryn Roth added 17 assists on the night.
The Eagles have spent the majority of the season in either the number two or number one spot in Division 6 and have seemed to settle in and accept the fact that they are expected to win on a nightly basis. Although they were few and far between, the Lompoc girls did make a couple runs, but the Eagles players, whether they were starters or not, never showed any signs of panic or anxiety.
“We don't think about it too much,” Schaeffer said when asked about how they handle the expectations and the bullseye on their back. “We just go out there every night and play our best and leave it all out on the floor and that’s all we can do.”
Templeton will look to continue their dominance when they play again at home on Tuesday as they host the Saints from Santa Maria High School.