Templeton hosts first round playoff game on Halloween night

Dismantles Cabrillo on senior night

TEMPLETON — The Templeton Eagles finished their season with a 22-4 record and enter the CIF Southern Section Playoffs as the No. 2 ranked team. On Halloween night the Eagles will host their first-round playoff game as they welcome in Whittier High School. The match is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. Whittier made the playoffs as an at-large bid from the Del Rio League. The Cardinals currently hold a record of 13-12 on the season and will be limping into the playoffs after losing five of their last six games, essentially the complete opposite of the Eagles who enter Tuesday’s match with a 15 game winning streak. Whittier is 1-5 on the road this season and will face one of the better home court advantages this year when they arrive in Templeton who is 7-0 in their own gym. If you aren’t out trick-or-treating on Tuesday make sure to get to the game early and grab a seat to watch one of the most dominating girls volleyball teams in the state of California begin their playoff run.

Last Tuesday night marked the final game of the regular season for the Templeton Eagles girls volleyball team. The Eagles finished the season with a 22-4 record overall and a 14-0 record in the Los Padres League and the number two ranking in the CIF Southern Section Division 6 standings. The Eagles have been number two for most of the year, only trailing Bishop Amat, and have only lost one set since Sept. 15. Tuesday was no different as the Eagles honored their seniors and faced Cabrillo.

For such a highly-ranked and dominant team, Templeton is surprisingly young. This season the Eagles will say goodbye to four seniors, but largely keep their talented core intact.

Valen Shaw, Natalie Blishak, Savannah Juel and Shelby Burns each walked out to center court with their families before the match and were honored with flowers and a poem from one of their underclassmen teammates. All four of the seniors started and played the entire game, and played well. With their starters on the bench, the Eagles rolled the Conquistadors.

All four of the seniors played together almost the entire night. Burns, Shaw and Juel would meet at the net after every point and smile at one another as they executed their handshakes. There was no worry on their faces, just pure enjoyment as they likely played in their last meaningful regular season match.

Each of the seniors had an impact on the game. Burns led the seniors finishing with 11 kills and 11 digs while Shaw shut down the Cabrillo offense. Shaw only recorded two blocks, but they were devastating and her height and presence altered the Cabrillo offense all evening. Blishak and Juel both recorded timely kills and also kept Cabrillo uncomfortable with the placement of their serves.

Templeton rolled to a 25-8 victory in the first, 25-16 in the second and 25-13 in the third. Cabrillo was completely outclassed and often struggled just to return the serves from the Eagle players. Camryn Roth finished her night with nine aces, but almost every girl who served seemed to record an ace. In the first set, most of Cabrillo’s eight points came via a Templeton mistake rather than a good play from the Conquistadors. The second set was the closest. At one time the Conquistadors only trailed by four but the Eagles quickly refocused and pulled away.

The playoff brackets for girls volleyball will be released on Thursday afternoon. Until then the Eagles wait as one of the top two teams in the division.

Follow sports reporter Connor Allen (@ConnorCAllen) and the Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press on Twitter and Facebook to get live scoring from the playoff game Tuesday.

© 2019-Paso Robles Press

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