By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Morgan Foley served the final seven consecutive points of the match as Santa Rosa JC defeated visiting Porterville in four sets Saturday night to advance to the third round of the CCCAA State Tournament.
The game scores were 24-26, 25-16, 25-15 and 25-18.
The Bear Cubs, the bracket's No. 3 seed, will travel to No. 2 Feather River Tuesday evening.
Santa Rosa began by playing tentatively against Porterville and as a result lost the first game.
Then, as its serving improved, the match turned around.
“We started getting more points on our serve and then started playing more aggressively,” coach Kelly Wood said. “I felt we controlled the match after the first set.”
Kaitlyn Dunaway led the way with 17 kills and 11 digs. Olivia Urban had 12 kills and five blocks while Foley, in addition to her serving, contributed four blocks and 11 digs.
As she went to the service line with the score 18-18 in the fourth set, Foley had her usual case of nerves.
“It always happens,” she said. “The only way I get over it is to think of weird things.”
She succeeded, getting one ace and consistently placing the ball where Porterville defenders couldn’t make an attacking return.
On match point, she served a deep floater to the back line that came back over the net harmlessly.
Santa Rosa has settled for the runner-up trophy the last two years at the state finals.
“This year’s team can do it,” said Foley, a red-shirt freshman from Mariposa. “I haven’t been on a team that’s as mentally strong as we are.
“We have confidence in each other. If one of us shanks a shot, we know another player on the court is going to get the shot and return it.”
The Bear Cubs, Big 8 Conference champs, have a 25-2 record.