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Oakdale prevents EU from extending match

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East Union's Lexy Posz sends a shot over the net during the Lancers 3-0 loss to Oakdale Thursday.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED October 1, 2010 2:58 a.m.
After getting pushed round in two losses to start the match, East Union held a five-point lead with five points to go but couldn’t finish the deal in a 3-0 loss to the visiting Oakdale Mustangs Thursday at the Dalben Center.

East Union led 20-15 in game three, but could not fend off a strong Oakdale club down the stretch, as the Mustangs scored 11 of the next 15 points to finish a 25-12, 25-13, 26-24 Valley Oak League win. Even though East Union (2-2 VOL, 4-4 overall) did not walk away with a win, the Lancers feel their effort in the closing game is reason to believe.

“I would definitely say that we kind of kicked it in gear in that final game,” East Union head coach Eryn Bowers. “We have a lot of changes going on and different girls are going in the rotation, so everyone is adapting well.

“It’s just going to take us some time to get our chemistry, because we need it.”

The Mustangs looked like the dominant program they’ve been over the past decade, opening the game on a blistering pace and building 22-11 leads in each of the first two games.

Oakdale (4-0, 9-6) would see its focus slip in the final game, trailing 18-13 at one point before rallying behind the standout play of senior captain Jackee Lee for the win. Lee’s guidance of her program was evident in the comeback, assisting or serving in every Oakdale point up to a 22-22 tie.

“Our girls just get fired up because it’s Oakdale,” Bowers said. “So that always pushes them to do their best. Jackee Lee was great; I also thought (Domi Powell) was really good at the net.

“This was our best game of the season, and so I really hope we can go up from this.”

Unforced errors plagued the Lancers more than anything, consistently donating points to an Oakdale offensive unit that needed no favors. The first two games saw Oakdale passing at will and frustrating the Lancers defenders, but East Union was able to fight back late and pull Oakdale into an urgency mode.

“Interesting would be a mild word to say the least,” Oakdale head coach Shelli Ponce said of game three. “I was very disappointed actually in game three. They pulled it out in the end, but they started making mental errors and they were not in positions they needed to be and obviously not communicating.

“The biggest thing for us was the mental; we try to coach mental, but you can’t do that.”

The Lancers’ VOL grind does not get an easier as the club has to make the long trek to Sonora to take on the Wildcats Thursday.

“At the end we were able to mesh together and everyone picked it up,” East Union senior Lexy Posz said. “We were able to do what we had to do, and that is how we usually play.

“I definitely feel that our effort in that final game will carry over into our next practice as well as our next game.”

East Union was led by Starla Beltran’s five digs and three kills, while teammate Taylor Maruca added four assists.
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