Kamiryn Downey

 Taft's Kamiryn Downey taps the ball over a Highland defender

Taft High opened the CIF Central Section volleyball playoffs at the top seed in Div. V Tuesday.

Their first matchup was the NO. 16 seed Highland Scots.Taft won the match against Highland by a score of 3-1.

The Cats had previously played Highland back in August with Highland losing in a sweep.

It was a closer match than the game scores indcated

In the first set Highland started out very strong putting pressure on the Cats, causing them to give the Scots some easy points early. As the set went on Taft began to get into a rhythm catching up fast and capitalizing on Highland's mistakes. Things turned on Highland quickly near the end of the first set. Holding a two point lead on Taft; Breann Bracken got a big kill taking the score 20-21. After getting an out Taft was trailing two points again but not for long. Highland would serve hitting the ball out making it 21-22. Jayde Gonzalez scored on the next play tying it 22-22. Gonzalez would make the match point after two more plays ending the first set 25-23.

The Wildcats dominated the second set throwing the Scots off balance at the start. Highland had a hard time trying to recover, having to climb a steep point deficit. Taft claimed the second set 25-14, Bracken this time getting the match point. Highland clutched the third set. Each team tied the score in a back and forth in a close 26-28. This would bring the game into the 4th set. At the start of the fourth the Cats and Scots kept up a high tempo. Tied 16-16 Bracken scored two consecutive points followed up by Cadence Mizener scoring two more from the serve; Highland then called time with Taft in the lead 20-16. The Scots would score two more points but would get stuck at 18. Taft would end the set 25-18.

The Wildcats host the Golden Valley Bulldogs Thursday in a second round match..

Golden Valley won their match against Wonderful College Prep Academy 3-1. The Bulldogs had a rough season with a league record 4-6 and placed fourth in the South Yosemite league. If Taft triumphs over Golden Valley they will play either the Immanuel Eagles or Mission Oak