Davis High girls volleyball coach Julie Crawford has seen what her team is capable of when everything clicks. And she’s confident that if that happens on Tuesday, in the Blue Devils’ Sac-Joaquin Section first-round playoff match, No. 12 DHS will be able to defeat No. 5 Oak Ridge and advance to the quarterfinals.
The match is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at Ponderosa High.
The Devils (19-11) and Trojans (17-13) have been on the same court once this season, but it was way back in August when they played a timed scrimmage in an event at Bella Vista. Crawford knows both teams have come a long way since then.
“I’m expecting a tough matchup, but the girls have been working really hard, practicing 3 1/2 to 4 hours a day this week,” said the coach. “We’ve been working a lot on speeding up our offense and running some more advanced plays. The thing I’ve been telling the girls is the most important play is the next play, we don’t want to let the other team go on runs.”
The Davis offense — which runs through freshman setter Samantha Moore who Crawford said has shown incredible maturity this season — has several options when it needs to put away a kill. Junior Maya Gilardi and senior Zoe Hunt-Murray have been devastating from the outside all season, but the Blue Devils have also seen the emergence of junior Irene Rutazihana and Karlie Kijanka as weapons in the middle.
“Irene and Karlie have really stepped up and given us two more go-to hitters,” Crawford explained. “It’s great because it makes the middle of our offense just as strong as the outside.”
“I’m just really excited to see the girls come out and perform on Tuesday night,” the coach added. “I know the girls aren’t ready for their season to end.”
To add depth to her DHS squad, which made the section quarterfinals last season, Crawford has pulled up a pair of JV players — Heather Huston and Lilly Purves.