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49ers picking up steam
Yuba College volleyball coach Greg Chapman couldn't be happier these days.
With an all-local and deep team, the 49ers' coach has the luxury of mixing and matching his lineup as he chooses. He has 10 players on his roster, all 10 can play and all 10 bring something different to the table.
They're a tight-knit bunch, too, and that was evident on Wednesday night when the 49ers had no problem rolling to a 25-12, 26-24, 25-13 victory over Laney at home.
Every single member of Yuba's roster had an impact, which saw the 49ers up their record to 8-3 overall while improving to 3-1 in Bay Valley Conference play.
"This whole team contributes," Chapman said. "We have 10 girls and we're 10 deep. We have a lot of interchangeable parts, so it's great."
Yuba showcased its power at the net early when Brenna McDonald smashed five kills and Katelyn Olson slammed down three to help the 49ers take the first game rather easily.
Chapman didn't have to leave his seat on the bench once in the opening set, but that changed in the second when some sloppy play by the 49ers allowed Laney to hang around. Yuba committed three straight unforced errors to fall behind early, which forced Chapman to call a time out to rally his troops.
"It was just unforced errors," Chapman said. "They had to put a stop to that and play smart."
Yuba eventually fell behind 24-22 in the second game, but Katie Reiland blasted a pair of kills and Emily Toledo added one more to finish off the comeback.
The third game was all Yuba, which led from start to finish.
"They're good, and they handled their business," Chapman said. "They took all the stuff we worked on at practice and put it in the game. They made it look easy."
McDonald led the charge with 12 kills and three digs, while Olson added five kills and four digs. Reiland had six kills and five blocks and Toledo tallied four kills.
Facilitating the offense for the 49ers was sophomore setter Taylor Thompson, who finished the night with 24 assists, six kills and two digs. Her stats were impressive, but what Chapman liked the most was the decisions she made on the fly.
"Taylor made a lot of good choices passing. She was on her game tonight," Chapman said. "There were times before where she would do something and I would say, 'Why did she do that?' Tonight, I knew what she was going to do before she did it."
For Thompson, sizing up the opposition and picking her spots to attack was the difference.
"Playing against a team like this, I could see where the small players were at," she said. "I just wanted to be smart and not put our hitters against their big blockers."
Libero Shaila Gidel had eight digs, Sam Foster tallied six assists and two digs and Megan Dodd finished with seven aces and three kills for the 49ers, who host College of Marin on Friday at 6 p.m.