One of the most anticipated volleyball matches of the season took place last Wednesday night at Don Bransford Gymnasium in Colusa, but it did not go as planned for the hometown team as the visiting Pierce Bears methodically dismantled the RedHawks, notching a straight set 25-18, 26-24, 25-14 win to take a one game lead in the Sacramento Valley League standings.
In the first two sets, the Bears battled from behind, but finished strong each time, excelling in all phases of the game.
Front row players Emily Ehrke, Katie Williams, Halle Charter Lexi Dorantes, Ashlyn Wooldridge and Abby
Mendoza swung away from the outside combining for 36 kills, and avoiding the strength of Colusa’s middle block.
Directing the offense, setters Ehrke and Sierra Murphy handed out a total of 36 assists.
On defense, the Bears made early adjustment to contain the RedHawk attack and from there on out were stellar, led by the play of Betsy Myers who made 15 digs and Ehrke with nine.
After the victory, Coach Kim Travis commented on her squad’s complete performance saying, “I was proud of my team’s effort. We worked will together, the six people on the court and the 11 on the bench. Each of us has a role and we worked hard to do our job.”
Not resting on its laurels, Pierce traveled to the Carmichael Invitational Volleyball Tournament last Saturday where they competed along with 24 other schools and finished 2-2, beating Oakmont and East Union before falling to Rio Americano and Oakmont in a rematch of the earlier game.
Pierce (12-8, 1-0) had another SVL showdown with rival Willows on Tuesday and finishes up the week on Thursday against Winters.
For the RedHawks, who notched their first SVL win cruising past the Lions in Live Oak 25-8, 25-12, 25-12 last Tuesday, the loss to the Bears was a bitter one.
And while they dominated at the net against the Lions with Hannah Taylor registering 12 kills and five blocks while Carly Lay added eight kills and six blocks, such was not the case in the match with the Bears.
Against Pierce Taylor and Carly Lay had 11 and seven kills respectively, but it was not enough to turn the tide.
A consistent presence in both of Colusa’s games last week was setter Annie Lay who handed out 21 assists and pitched in with seven kills in Live Oak and was a bright spot against the Bears making 22 assists and numerous saves to keep the ball in play.
Amber Morales made a team high15 digs in the loss to Pierce.
Colusa (17-11, 1-1) returned to the court on Monday when it traveled to Durham for a non-conference match before concluding the week in Willows for a critical SVL bout with the Honkers.
In other volleyball action last week, Maxwell went 1-1 to open Mountain Valley League competition while Williams dropped its first Mid-Valley League match to Hamilton City.
Portola 3, Maxwell 2 (9/24)
Maxwell 3, Quincy 1 (9/26)
Maxwell made the long trip to Portola last Tuesday, but could not topple the Tigers as they dropped a close five set match 25-23, 15-25, 21-25, 25-23, 9-15.
It was a huge night for the Panther defense as Laynee Haywood, Rosa Corona and Courtney Wycoff combined to make 78 digs.
On the attack Haywood and Wycoff each had eight kills while Leah Ferrara also had a solid outing with 14 assists, 11 digs and seven kills.
The Panthers bounced back last Thursday downing the visiting Trojans at home 24-26, 25-15, 31-29, 25-20.
Haywood led the way with 16 kills, 26 digs and 26 service receptions while Wycoff had 21 digs and 18 service receptions.
Also making significant contributions in the win was Corona with 18 digs and 17 service receptions along with Paige Vierra who finished with 21 assists and 11 digs and Jillian Wilson who served 10 aces.
Maxwell (8-6,1-1) hosted Esparto on Oct. 1 then travels to Chico to meet CORE Butte on Oct. 3.
Hamilton City 3, Williams 1
The Yellowjackets took a set off the Braves last Thursday in Hamilton City but ultimately succumbed 18-25, 25-22, 18-25, 19-25 in their first Mid-Valley League match.
No statistics were provided by Williams (3-13, 0-1), who had its lone match this week on Oct. 1 in Durham.