An historic run by the No. 3 seeded Colusa RedHawks in the Nor Cal CIF Division V State Tournament came to end last Saturday in San Mateo as they fell in straight sets to No. 2 The Nueva School 25-27, 23-25, 17-25.
Coach Tina Lyons, disappointed after the tough loss, said her team played hard but couldn’t overcome the home court advantage and the fact that Nueva simply did a better job of adjusting to the way the officials conducted the game.
Carly Lay led the attack with 20 kills while Annie Lay handed out 31 assists and landed seven kills.
Defensively, Amber Morales had a team high 12 digs with Abby Myers not far behind making 10.
Yet to get to the regional semifinals, the RedHawks played some remarkable volleyball, taking down No. 14 Skyline (Oakland) 25-18, 25-12, 25-22 on November 12 before outlasting No. 11 Bentley (Lafayette), 25-22, 27-29, 25-15, 14-25, 15-11, in a thrilling five set battle on Nov. 14.
Hosting the visiting No. 14 Titans in the first round, Colusa made a timely adjustment then went on to win the match in straight sets.
With Skyline featuring a formidable middle block, Lyons made a tactical change and setter Annie Lay executed the plan by moving the ball outside where the RedHawks found success on the attack.
Lay dished out 30 assists and tallied nine kills to pace the offense while Hannah Taylor and Carly Lay registered 12 and 10 kills apiece.
From the service line, where the RedHawks also outperformed the Titans, Morales contributed 13 service points, which included four aces.
Myers and Emily Pingrey each made five digs for the defense.
Following up last Thursday night at home, a packed house was treated to a contest that featured spectacular athleticism by both sides in the RedHawks’ win over the Bentley Phoenix.
Carly Lay may have turned in her most complete performance of the season hammering 17 kills and making four blocks to help Colusa dominate at the net.
Taylor and Reese Roper did their part on the attack contributing 13 and nine kills respectively while Annie Lay impressed once again making 39 assists to direct the offense.
The RedHawk defense was outstanding as well led by Morales and Myers who each made 16 digs along with Cynthia Velasquez who pitched in with 10 and Roper with nine.
At the service line, Kaylie Gwinnup tallied 13 points in addition to playing well all the way around.
After the match, Lyons couldn’t have been more pleased saying, “It was so much fun. Our whole team stepped up tonight, everyone played a part and it was just awesome.”
Although Colusa (30-16) had its season come to an end, it has much to be proud of, for in addition to winning its first ever section title, it advanced farther in the state tournament this year than any other program in the north state.