ATWATER — Aly Sherman looks like she’s about to burst into tears one second.
A few plays later, the Buhach Colony junior is jumping up and down.Sherman’s not one to hide her emotions.
“I just want to be a leader for my team,” she said. “I know if I’m inspired, they can play inspired.”
Sherman played her role well in an emotional win over Atwater on Wednesday night. Buhach Colony came away with a 25-18, 19-25, 25-18, 25-22 win in front of a raucous crowd at Atwater High.
“Aly’s our sparkplug,” said Buhach Colony coach Michelle Osmer, whose team kept pace with Golden Valley near the top of the Central California Conference standings. “She does a great job of keeping everyone pumped up and not letting anybody get down.
“That’s huge in an emotional match like this.”
Sherman recorded eight kills and 10 digs for BC (4-1 CCC, 15-7 overall).
It was a crucial win after blowing a 2-0 lead against Golden Valley on Wednesday night.
“We had to win to stay in the hunt for the championship,” Osmer said. “There’s only 10 games left.”
Osmer’s girls were simply the more consistent team on the court.
Atwater almost came out too fired up in front of the large crowd.
Atwater service errors, mishits and net violations helped Buhach Colony open up a comfortable 18-11 lead midway through the first game.
“Simply it came down to too many errors,” said Atwater coach Toni Garcia, whose team dropped to 2-3 in the CCC. “We made more mistakes than Buhach did. I felt we put it all out on the court. I thought we played harder in this match than we did against Golden Valley or Pitman.
“We just made too many mistakes. I think Buhach is the team to beat this year.”
Atwater answered back in the second game. Freshman Brigette Berlier made some key kills early and Nicole Heller (15 kills and five blocks) came up big down the stretch to help Atwater even the game at 1-1.
However, BC was just too good the rest of the way.
Osmer’s back row made Atwater work for every point it got.
Rachel Andrews played big at the net with eight kills and three blocks and Jenna Fournier turned in her best match of the season, coming up with some clutch kills toward the end of the fourth game.
“We did play more consistent,” Osmer said. “We stayed calm and played our game. Jenna played a strong game, especially with some of her shots and blocks at the net in the fourth game.”
Sherman, who takes a while to wind down after matches, will enjoy this win for a while.
“I usually think about the match the whole night,” Sherman said. “I replay it in my head. The last one against Golden Valley was disappointing. We knew we had to get this one.”
25-19, 19-25, 25-18, 25-22
BUHACH COLONY -- Kills: Aly Sherman 8, Rachel Andrews 8, Jenna Fournier 6; Blocks: Andrews 3; Assists: Lauren Morris 12; Digs: Sherman 10.
ATWATER -- Kills: Nicole Heller 15; Blocks: Heller 5, Gio Treyes 5; Assists: Nikki Schiber 25; Digs: Treyes 18, Sam Murphy 14, Brigette Berlier 13; Aces: Mari Valdez 2.
Records: BC 4-1 CCC; Atwater 2-3 CCC
GOLDEN VALLEY 3, MERCED 0
Reina Sykes had 11 kills, 11 assists, six blocks and five aces to help Golden Valley cruise past Merced 25-15, 25-11, 25-16.
GV (5-0 CCC, 7-1) remained atop the conference standings, completing the first third of the season undefeated.
Kat Blake continued her solid play with nine kills and Macie Smith finished up with a team-high 12 assists and three aces for GV.
Chelsea Evans led Merced (1-4 CCC, 6-7) with four kills and a block, while Summer Sanchez chipped in 12 assists.