Balboa volleyball edges Washington to secure spot in AAA title game

It wasn't easy, and at times, Balboa High School was its own worst enemy. In the end, though, the Buccaneers girls' volleyball team earned the opportunity to play for a city championship.

Balboa advanced to the San Francisco Section-Academic Athletic Association title match with a hard-fought 25-11, 17-25, 27-25, 17-25, 15-8 win against Washington on Tuesday.

Tatiana Jimenez led the Bucs with 13 kills.

Balboa moves into the title game Friday night at Kezar Pavilion where it will take on Lowell, which beat Lincoln in the other semifinal.

“Going into that fifth set, we were a little stressed out there, a little tight,” Balboa coach Val Cubales said. “I just told them to go out there and have fun, play with no worries.”

The turning point in the match came in the third set, with Washington clinging to a 24-23 lead and serving for the game.

Jimenez seemed to hit a ball out of bounds, which would have given Washington the game. However, the Bucs contested the call and the referees overturned the call, giving the Bucs the point. Balboa quickly ended the set with three straight kills from Yvonne Faasavalu, turning the entire match around.

The call didn't sit well with Washington coach Sharon Cheng.

“It's tough, and it's an emotional roller coaster to see a call switched like that,” Cheng said. “That's a big momentum swing right there.”

It didn't seem to impact the Eagles as they rolled in the fourth game, going on a 11-2 run to go up comfortably 23-14 before eventually winning the set 25-17.

But the Eagles couldn't muster enough energy to pull the upset, as Balboa jumped out to an 8-4 lead in the fifth game. Balboa eventually outlasted Washington as Jimenez clinched the Buccaneers' berth in the championship match.

“We fought hard and I couldn't be prouder of this team,” Cheng said. “We left everything out on the court, and we tried so hard, but sometimes you just come up a little short.”

Cubales, who coached Balboa to its first championship in school history in 2011, believes his team won't have any big-game jitters.

“We'll be ready, and we won't be as nervous and tight as were tonight,” Cubales said. “We'll have a Plan A, Plan B and Plan C ready Friday night.”

Prep Sports

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

After the pandemic hit, Twin Peaks Boulevard was closed to vehicle traffic, a situation lauded by open space advocates. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
New proposal to partially reopen Twin Peaks to vehicles pleases no one

Neighbors say closure brought crime into residential streets, while advocates seek more open space

Members of the Sheriff’s Department command staff wore masks at a swearing-in ceremony for Assistant Sheriff Tanzanika Carter. One attendee later tested positive. 
Courtesy SFSD
Sheriff sees increase in COVID-19 cases as 3 captains test positive

Command staff among 10 infected members in past week

Rainy weather is expected in the coming week. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Rainstorms, potential atmospheric river expected to drench Bay Area in coming week

By Eli Walsh Bay City News Foundation Multiple rainstorms, cold temperatures some… Continue reading

U.S. Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s powerful reading was among the highlights of Inauguration Day. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Inauguration shines light in this never-ending shade

Here’s to renewal and resolve in 2021 and beyond

Lowell High School is considered an academically elite public school. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Students denounce ‘rampant, unchecked racism’ at Lowell after slurs flood anti-racism lesson

A lesson on anti-racism at Lowell High School on Wednesday was bombarded… Continue reading

Most Read