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Carmichael Times

Raiders' season ends in state playoffs

Nov 09, 2022 12:00AM ● By By Shaun Holkko, sports editor

Rio Americano coach John Grix speaks to his during a timeout of a three-set sweep against Golden Valley in the first round of the 2022 Division II CIF Sac-Joaquin Girls Volleyball Playoffs on October 25 in Sacramento. The Raiders lost three sets to one against Clovis North in the CIF State Girls Volleyball Championships on Tuesday, November 8 in Fresno. Photo courtesy of William J Carroll III Photography

FRESNO, CA (MPG) – An impressive season came to an end Tuesday night in Fresno as the Rio Americano girls varsity volleyball team lost to Clovis North in the first round of the 2022 Division II CIF State Girls Volleyball Championships.

The No. 16 seed Raiders (34-9) lost to the No. 1 seed Broncos (25-10) three sets to one. Clovis controlled the first set, nearly doubling up Rio, winning 25-13. The Raiders responded in the next set, but still fell short, 25-19.

Facing elimination with its season on the line, Rio fought back in the third set and took it 25-18. However, Clovis put the match away in the fourth set with a narrow margin of victory at 25-21 to advance to the next round.

RELATED: Raiders lose in Division II playoff semifinals

The Broncos will take on No. 9 seed Escalon in the second round on Thursday night at 6 p.m.

Despite the defeat in the first round of the state tournament, the Raiders should be very proud of themselves. Qualifying for state is an accomplishment in itself.

Rio finished with a perfect 14-0 record in Capital Athletic League play, earning the eighth CAL championship in program history and the second in three years. The Raiders won both section playoff games played at home, sweeping Golden Valley on October 25 and defeating Tracy in five sets two days later.

RELATED: Rio Americano girls volleyball team advances to semifinals of D2 playoffs

John Grix has been a coach at Rio since 2001 and the varsity head coach since 2006. Grix and assistant Gary Garot will have most of their team returning next season, as only three players will be graduating in the Class of 2023: outside hitter Nikita Rogaski, defensive specialist Mae Hutchinson and outside hitter Lulu Voss.

Boys volleyball season begins in March. The quest for back-to-back CAL titles for the ladies starts in August.