As the preseason continues in earnest, Colusa County volleyball teams are “playing up” as they say, competing against larger schools, albeit with mixed results, in the hope that early adversity will prepare them for not only league, but also the postseason. Pierce, Colusa and Williams each claimed a victory last week, while Maxwell was defeated in its only match of the week.
U-Prep 3, Pierce 1 (9/3)
Chico 3, Pierce 1 (9/4)
Pierce 3, Pioneer 0 (9/5)
“Progress not perfection” is what Pierce coach Kim Travis has been preaching to her team as they endured a three game losing streak dating back to August 29, but last Thursday it all came together for the Bears as they dominated visiting Pioneer 25-15, 25-17, 25-17, a team they had lost to in the Flock Tournament two weeks prior.
In a match marked by big swings and extended rallies, the Bears found themselves capturing points with a spirited effort.
While not compiling the statistics some of her teammates did, senior Abby Mendoza played an instrumental role in the win by doing the little things right in key situations and being a consistent all-round player finishing with three kills and six digs.
On the attack, Emily Ehrke had a team high nine kills in addition to dishing out 16 assists, while Lexi Dorantes and Halle Charter had seven kills and Katie Williams notched six.
Pierce’s front row, which has struggled against taller teams of late, was solid on the block against the Patriots, getting four from Williams and two from Charter.
Betsy Myers was steady as always in the back row making 16 digs and 20 service receptions.
Also turning in a commendable effort was Sierra Murphy whose stat line included 19 assists and a team-high 17 digs.
Starting last week at home, the Bears dropped a rematch of last year’s Division IV championship to U-Prep 23-25, 25-14, 21-25, 24-26 despite a breakout performance from junior hitter Ashlyn Woodbridge who had a team high 15 kills.
Murphy did her part distributing 25 assists and making 21 digs while Myers finished with 42 service receptions and 19 digs.
Not to be outdone, Ehrke contributed nine kills, 21 assists and 23 service receptions.
On the road in Chico, Pierce fell 13-25, 22-25, 25-22, 18-25 as Dorantes, Ehrke and Mendoza each recorded eight kills.
Murphy and Myers had 16 digs apiece with Murphy also distributing 18 assists.
It is another difficult week for the Bears (7-5) who started in Vacaville Tuesday night, hosts Woodland on Wednesday and goes to Redding for a rematch of last season’s third round CIF State Tournament contest with Shasta on Thursday.
Sutter 3, Colusa 2 (9/3)
Colusa 3, Williams 0 (9/4)
Less than 24 hours after getting off a plane returning from the Kamehemeha Tournament in Hawaii, the RedHawks took to the court against the visiting Sutter Huskies and came up just short in a thrilling five set match 22-25, 25-16,18-25, 25-13 19-21 on Sept. 3.
Hannah Taylor was strong at the net for the RedHawks finishing with 13 kills, while Carly Lay had seven, as did Annie Lay who also handed out 18 assists.
On defense, Cynthia Velasquez led Colusa with 17 digs and Emily Pingrey made 10 in the back-and-forth affair.
After dropping a heartbreaker to Sutter on Tuesday, the RedHawks bounced back last Wednesday by sweeping county rival Williams in straight sets 25-15, 25-13, 25-10.
Annie Lay had another consistent outing recording 19 assists and six kills to lead Colusa.
In the front row, Amber Morales had a team high 10 kills with Taylor tallying nine.
On defense, Velasquez made six digs for the RedHawks (6-8) who hosted Wheatland last night, are in Gridley tonight and travel to Orland on Thursday.
East Nicolaus 3, Maxwell 1 (9/5)
Maxwell took a set from the unbeaten Spartans last week in Trowbridge, but ultimately dropped the match by scores of 14-25, 15-25, 25-23, 20-25.
The Panthers got a strong all-around performance from Laynee Haywood who posted a game-high 14 kills to go along with 16 digs and 24 service receptions
Making noteworthy defensive efforts was Rosa Corona and Courtney Wycoff who recorded 26 and 21 digs respectively.
Leah Ferrara pitched in with 10 digs while Paige Vierra finished with 17 assists.
With a record of 3-2, Maxwell hosted Hamilton City on Tuesday night.
Colusa 3, Williams 0 (9/4)
Williams 3, Esparto 1 (9/5)
After struggling against Colusa in a straight set loss, the Yellowjackets rebounded the following night to put away the Spartans 25-17,30-28, 21-25, 25-21.
No statistics from the matches were available.
Williams (2-6) entertained Winters on Tuesday ahead of opening play in the Los Molinos Beth Pilger Invitational Tournament on Thursday.