Wildcat No. 21 Noah Douphner slams the ball to gain the lead. (Kyle Kawamoto/ Canyons News)

West Ranch High School took Canyon to the court to decide the factor on who is going to be the winner and who will be taking the title of Foothill League champions.

The Cowboys came right out the gate as a tougher opponent to put up a fight against the Wildcats.In the end, the Wildcats took the W with the final score being 3-1. 

“Canyon gave us something that, you know, we’ve never seen before in this valley alone. You know, we’ve obviously been to tournaments where we’ve seen higher competition before people that are ranked above us,” said the Wildcats’ Matthew Reid

Reid and his teammates needed time to get into the groove of the game. 

“We didn’t do that to its fullest extent the first set, but we really picked it up in the last three. It was hard to pick up the energy when everybody else around me was like, just dead on their feet and, you know, slouching around and just not doing anything, you know, for, you know, going through the ball, you know, it’s always hard, you know, to pick it back up,” said Reid.

Reid led the Wildcats that night with ten digs. The one with the highest performance of the night would be Reid’s colleague, freshman Noah Douphner.

Douphner led the Wildcats with  twenty-two kills, 6 serving aces, and ten digging for their victory against the Cowboys. 

Being a freshman and being on the top varsity team in the Foothill League, Douphner was one of the top performers on the team.

“I’ve had a lot of fun in my first Foothill League experience, but I’m really excited for playoffs are definitely going to see some better teams and I’m just excited to be I feel like you can do a lot of good things this year,” said Douphner.

The Wildcats made a repeat of their last season and won the Foothill League title in the spring of 2021. By working hard on their game, they mastered their craft against tough competitors.

From left to right: Matthew Reid and Derrick Borden block ball against Canyon (Kyle Kawamoto / Canyons News)

Given both teams had players that went through the pandemic, Wildcats head coach Brandon Johnson made sure that all of the players felt they belonged on the team and give his players a good time to get back into the season from start to finish..

“We put in a lot of hard work, you know, so it’s nice to see results and yeah, I’m just so happy for the voice. You know, like COVID has been really tough for everyone. Right? And so, you know, seeing them smile and joyful and, and you know, being athletes is just a lot of fun. So I’m just happy to be a part of it” said Coach Johnson.

West Ranch will face off against Alemany High School for their matchup in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoff realm. Both teams will bring great competition and will bring out the best of all players on Thursday, April 27th. 

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