Chico High Volleyball passes Corning in first round of North Section tournament – Chico Enterprise-Record

CHICO — The Chico High volleyball team came out excited and ready to play Wednesday night in the first round of the Division II North Section playoffs against Corning. The stands were packed as the Panthers packed with youngsters prepared for the playoff atmosphere.

Chico, the No. 4 seed, defeated No. 5 seed Corning 25-19, 25-16, 25-15 in a three-set sweep Friday night at Chico.

  • Corning High’s Izzy Moreno attempts to pass the ball past Casey Baker of Chico High School during the first round of the Division II North Section Playoffs on Wednesday, October 26, 2022 at Chico High School in Chico, Calif. (Rick Silva/Paradise Post)

  • Chico High's student body rises to...

    The student body of Chico High rises for a serve in Game 1 of the Division II North Section Volleyball Playoffs on Wednesday, October 26, 2022 at Chico High School in Chico, Calif. The Panthers beat Corning 3-0 and will face Pleasant Valley in the second round on Nov. 1 in PV. (Rick Silva/Paradise Post)

  • Teya Gibbs of Chico High School tries to hit the ball...

    Teya Gibbs of Chico High School tries to hit the ball past Aspen Armstrong of Corning during the first round of the Division II North Section Playoffs on Wednesday, October 26, 2022 at Chico High School in Chico, Calif. (Rick Silva/Paradise Post)

“We definitely went into this game knowing that we had to focus on certain things like ball control and I felt like we did a good job at times, other times not so well,” said said Chico captain and senior Maya Cann. “I think we’ve worked a lot better as a team recently and I think we need to bring that back to PV.”

Chico came out electric in the first set. Junior Teya Gibbs started the game with four aces in the first five points as the Panthers took a 5-0 lead. Gibbs finished the game with a team-best nine aces. Corning went under three points at 10-7 and later trailed 15-11, but the Panthers scored five straight points to take a 20-11 lead — their biggest lead of the set.

Chico got off to a good start in the second set as well, leading 6-0 with three points from Cann’s kills. The Panthers led 9-1 and extended the nine-point lead to 13-4 on a Cann kill. Chico’s biggest lead of the set came at 21-11 on a kill from rookie Kaycee Konopka. Chico won the second set when sophomore Mylee Finney hit him softly over the net in the front left corner to give the Panthers a 25-16 lead.

Chico’s head coach, Chas Konopka, said he tried to bring all of his players in tonight to experience the playoffs and get rid of that weight. The Panthers have 11 juniors on their team and only four with playoff experience from last year.

“I think it was important for them to gain experience and feel part of the team,” Konopka said.

Cann said having the freshman and sophomores on the field Wednesday keeps the upperclassmen on another level of responsibility and provides new life for the team in the streak. playoffs. She said that as a senior she wanted to show them how to get the most out of the practices by working hard.

Corning opened the third set winning four of the first five points to take a 4-1 lead. It was the first lead of the game for the Cardinals. Chico fought back and won four straight points to take a 5-4 lead. Corning tied at 5-5, but Chico took a 6-5 lead on a kill from senior Kendal Kyle. After the Cardinals again tied the set at 6-6, Chico took a 7-6 lead and wouldn’t give up the lead for the rest of the game.

Chico led 11-9 and scored five straight points to take its biggest lead at 16-9. Corning went under four points at 19-15, but Chico closed the game with six straight points to win the set 25-15. Senior Rebecca Digmon softly hit a midfield ball that landed midfield among a group of Cardinals divers for the game winner.

Junior CJ Baker led Chico with seven kills, and Addie Konopka and Kyle had five each.

Chico High is now gearing up for their third game of the season against Pleasant Valley at 7 p.m. in Pleasant Valley. The Vikings beat the Panthers 3-1 in Game 1 on October 4 at Pleasant Valley, and the Panthers defended their home ground on October 20 with a 3-1 victory.

Cann said against PV that the Panthers need to continue working on ball control and working as a team. An important note she pointed out was that body language will be key. They must not show bad body language to their teammates or let their opponent see it.

Konopka said his team had been worrying about other teams throughout the year and now only worries about what his own team is doing.

“I say that to girls quite often,” Konopka said. “To celebrate each other, be happy for each other and let’s worry about what we do on our side of the net.”

Playoff Table

Chico High was named the No. 4 seed at Friday’s ranking meeting. The top three seeds in the North Section received byes in the first round and it was between Chico (20-18, 6-4 Eastern Athletic League) and Shasta (18-17, 6-4 EAL) for the third and fourth positions. The two teams split regular season head-to-head games and, under EAL rules, the next tiebreaker is a coin toss, which Shasta won to receive a bye. in the first round.

Pleasant Valley (18-15, 8-2 EAL) received first place and Foothill (28-7, 8-2 EAL) received second place. The Vikings and Cougars record was tied in the EAL, but PV beat Foothill 2-0 in head-to-head matches.

Corning (10-15, 6-2 Butte View League) received the No. 5 seed in bracket D-II. The Cardinals finished second in BVL behind Orland (21-9, 7-1 BVL), who finished first in BVL and earned second place in D-III.

Divisions are based on registration and it depends on the guidelines of each sport, according to North Section commissioner Scott Johnson. In volleyball, the top eight enrolling schools from the previous year are ranked in Division II, and Division III is the next eight schools.

The North Section Volleyball Championships will be held Nov. 5 at Foothill High School in Palo Cedro.

To see the full installment of the Northern Section Volleyball Tournament, from D-II to D-VII, visit

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