PASO ROBLES — On Tuesday night the Greyhound girls volleyball team traveled to Paso Robles to take on the Bearcats at the Gil Asa gym at Paso Robles High School. The Greyhounds came into the game looking to complete the season sweep of their rivals and did exactly that, winning three games to one. The Greyhounds asserted their dominance early and often on Tuesday as co-captains Abby Wright and Taylor Degnan played exceptional for the Hounds, delivering devastating shots when needed. The Hounds jumped out to a commanding lead in the first set starting the game on a 7-0 run, sucking all the air and energy out of the building and forcing the Paso Robles coach to call an early timeout. The temporary break in the action did not help the Bearcats as the Greyhounds continued to score, winning the first game 25-11. Defensively the girls were sound, recording a number of blocks in the first ten points, setting the tone of the game from the very beginning.
Hannah Hagy’s height presented problems for the Bearcats as she was able to block several of their spike attempts and she was the Greyhounds most effective server. Each time Hagy would hit a jump serve the Bearcats would struggle to return it and would more often than not just pop the ball over the next with no spike attempt. The second set was more of the same for the Hounds, they got off to another fast start leading 6-1 after the first seven points. Degnan really heated up at the end of the second set and had everything working. She was hitting shots down the line, cross court and dumping it just over the Bearcat block attempts. Defensively Natalie Derose was everywhere, frequently diving across the hardwood to keep balls in play and setting up Kylee Degnan for the assist. Derose finished the evening with 18 and Kylee registered 21 assists and seven digs of her own.
Paso Robles came out determined to not get swept in straight sets by their bitter rivals again and were able to grab an early lead in the third set over the Hounds forcing Head Coach Rachel Coons to call a timeout.
“I told them we just need to move our feet and talk to each other,” Coons said. “We got a little too comfortable and we were just thinking that someone else would get it, but no one else was there. So we had to refocus and talk about communicating.”
After the timeout, Atascadero battled back, tying the game at 15s after a pair of aces from Kylee, but the Bearcats would not be swept. The Paso student section finally came alive at the end of the third set chanting, “We believe that we will win,” as their girls won the third set 25-17, but were quickly silenced and then mocked by the Atascadero student section as the Greyhounds dominated the fourth and final set, ending the game with a, “We believe that we will win,” chant of their own.
The win brings the Greyhounds league record to 11-1 with their lone loss coming at home to the Arroyo Grande Eagles who are currently ranked sixth in CIF Southern Section Division 3.
“It feels good,” Coons said. “You know the rivalry is fun. It’s awesome. Every little step of the way I'm so proud of them, they have been working so hard and we deserve to go to CIF, we just keep doing our job.”
Atascadero’s last game of the regular season will be Tuesday as they get their second shot at Arroyo Grande, this time on the road.