Parity among volleyball teams this season made for some exciting volleyball last week as playoff positioning is reaching a critical stage and wins are at a premium.
Colusa worked its way back into contention for a share of the Sacramento Valley League title with a victory over Pierce, and then got an assist from the Bears who rebounded from the loss to knock off first place Willows.
Maxwell, despite falling to Quincy, remains in a three way tie for first in the Mountain Valley League while Williams stayed winless in the Mid-Valley League.
Colusa 3-Pierce 0 (10/15)
Pierce 3-Willows 1 (10/17)
Three weeks ago the Pierce Bears marched into Colusa’s Don Bransford Gymnasium and swept the RedHawks in straight sets, but last Tuesday night in Arbuckle the tables were turned as the RedHawks won in dramatic fashion over the hometown Bears by scores of 25-20, 27-25, 27-25.
While the RedHawks held the advantages in most facets of the game, they definitely dominated the net led by middle hitters Hannah Taylor and Carly Lay who finished the match with 14 and nine kills respectively.
Orchestrating the attack for Colusa was setter Annie Lay who handed out 32 assists, often making spectacular saves to keep the ball alive and create those opportunities.
Colusa also got a noteworthy performance from its back row, which included Amber Morales making 20 digs, along with Cynthia Velazquez and Abby Myers who contributed 12 apiece.
With the win, the RedHawks (24-14, 4-2) find themselves tied with Pierce for second place in the SVL and had a match with Willows on October 22 that determined the league championship.
For the Bears in the loss, there was no lack of effort as they battled throughout, twice forcing the RedHawks to earn extra points to secure the win, although in the end, they were simply unable to overcome errors at critical junctures.
Defensively Pierce was solid in the back row as Emily Ehrke made a match high 22 digs, Sierra Murphy added 19 and Grace Alonzo pitched in with 11 digs and 30 service receptions.
On the attack, Ehrke doled out 21 assists to go along with 10 kills, while Lexi Dorantes also notched 10 kills and Murphy accounted for 16 assists.
Nonetheless, the Bears rebounded in a big way last Thursday at home when they disposed of Willows 25-13, 25-16, 23-25, 25-15.
Making far fewer errors than they had against the RedHawks, Pierce was also stronger at the net when they faced the Honkers led by Ehrke’s 12 kills, Halle Charter’s 10 and Katie Williams’s 11 blocks.
The setting tandem of Ehrke and Murphy combined to make 39 assists.
Alonzo, who is still learning the libero position, was good for 21 digs and 28 service receptions while Ehrke also played consistently in the back row ending with 17 digs.
Pierce (17-15, 3-2) finishes the regular season this week having hosted Winters on Tuesday ahead of traveling to Live Oak on Thursday.
Quincy 3-Maxwell 2 (10/15)
Maxwell 3-Esparto 1 (10/17)
Despite winning the first two sets on the road last Tuesday, the Panthers were ultimately bested by the Trojans 29-27-28-26, 21-25, 14-25, 7-15.
Four players recorded double doubles in the loss including Laynee Haywood with 11 kills and 16 digs, Courtney Wycoff adding 22 digs and 32 service receptions, Leah Ferrara making 16 digs and 13 assists and Paige Vierra handing out 18 assists and recording 10 digs.
In Esparto last Thursday, after a slow start in which they dropped the first set, the Panthers regrouped to win 18-25, 25-19, 26-24, 25-17.
Haywood, Wycoff and Ferrara, finished with seven kills apiece to spearhead the attack, while Vierra distributed 16 assists and Morgan Dennis chipped in with five aces.
Haywood made a team high 18 digs and Rosa Corona contributed 13.
The regular season concluded this week for Maxwell (13-8, 6-2) as they entertained CORE Butte Tuesday night before welcoming Biggs to town on Thursday.
East Nicolaus 3-Williams 0 (10/15)
Hamilton City 3-Williams 0 (10/17)
Struggles in Mid-Valley League play continued for the Yellowjackets as they fell to the Spartans 13-25, 21-25, 17-25 last Tuesday and then to the Braves 8-25, 13-25, 22-25.
Statistics from the matches were not provided.
Williams (3-20, 0-7) was in Trowbridge last night to face East Nicolaus then closes out the season at home against Durham on Thursday.