Yucaipa High School volleyball team’s late rally on Senior Night was not enough against Redlands East Valley who stopped the Thunderbirds hopes of defending its Citrus Belt League championship. REV prevailed 25-16, 25-10, 25-23. The Thunderbirds eventually earned a CIF-SS, Division 4 playoff game, where its season ended after a 3-1 loss at Perris. YHS tied REV for second place in CBL with a 7-5 record and were 15-14 overall.
Prior to the team’s May 14 banquet, YHS coach William Quanstrom announced senior Jack Taylor was named first team all-CBL, joined by juniors Ross Sibley and Kyle Garner. Second team all-CBL was junior Erik Gordon and senior Dustin Klapproth. Jorge Chavez, a junior was honorable mention. Sibley was also picked team MVP and Best Defensive Player. Taylor was selected Best Offensive Player and Chavez earned Most Improved Player. Taylor and Klapproth were both on last season’s undefeated CBL championship team.
Before an enthusiastic Senior Night crowd on April 30, Garner sparked a game-three rally with an ace and four kills to keep it 21-21. But REV’s Christian Lee led a 4-2 run that ended the night. Sibley led the Thunderbirds with eight kills.
YHS coach Will Quanstrom gave his six senior’s playing time, something that REV Coach Michael Fink said contributed to Yucaipa’s loss. Yucaipa defeated the Wildcats 3-2 on the road on April 16. REV won the first meeting 4-3 at Yucaipa. On Senior Night, Quanstrom acknowledged his team’s subpar performance, saying it made uncharacteristic errors.
“It was disappointing to lose on Senior Night,” said Klapproth. “Like we’ve done all season, we’ll move on to the next game.” Klapproth noted that his team had just won three straight league matches; including giving CBL champion Redlands its only defeat in league. Taylor, a three-year varsity starter, said he thought the win over Redlands might have propelled the team onto another CBL title. Taylor and Klapproth agreed the loss of six graduating senior starters from last season held the team back. Graduates Collin Kramer and Brian Stuart led YHS to two CBL titles.
It was Klapproth, Taylor and four other Yucaipa senior’s last home game. Klapproth will pursue a career as a forensic chemist. Taylor will become a physician after studying at University of Redlands. Senior teammate Samir Yousef will also begin a pre-med track at UCLA. The day before playing REV in volleyball, senior teammate Jakob Fermanian put on a show of versatility by running the 400 meter dash for Yucaipa’s CBL champion track team. Joel Reynaga and Damian Marquez were rewarded with extra playing time on Senior Night.
Quanstrom said the future looks bright with the return of six or seven “very solid” players who will fill roles of graduating seniors. “We’re sorry to lose our seniors but we’re excited about next season.” Quanstrom said some his players returning next year showed determination against highly ranked Perris by the way they fought back to get within 2-1 to force a fourth set.