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EU without two middle blockers

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East Union's Taylor Maruca returns a shot during Thursday's VOL match against Sonora.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED October 29, 2010 2:55 a.m.
The Sonora Wildcats brought their undefeated Valley Oak League record into the Dalben Center and got pushed to the brink in Game 1, but a short-staffed East Union club would come no closer to an upset, falling 3-0 Thursday in front of the home fan

East Union (8-5 VOL, 13-7 overall) found themselves tied 10-10 with Sonora in the first game but saw Sonora go on a lengthy run before pulling away for a 25-21 win. The balance of the match proved to be one-sided, with Sonora winning the final two games 25-15 each.

Lexy Posz and Taylor Maruca both led the Lancers with a valiant effort, but doing without the services of senior captain Brittany LaMar and net presence Tauveve Rodriguez, who were both nursing injuries, gave the Lancers a deficit they couldn’t recover from.

“We knew that we had two key players out and of course we missed them,” Posz said. “But we were able to pull together as a team and try to make up for their loss.

“I was really proud of our team for doing that.”

The Lancers’ effort peaked after dropping the close first game, bouncing back and jumping out on Sonora with a blistering 5-0 start. Sonora promptly called a timeout and reeled off 10 of the next 15 points, and pulled ahead for good with a 9-0 run after a 10-10 tie.

“When you have two key middle blockers out you have to keep making adjustments,” East Union head coach Eryn Bowers said. “We were able to make those adjustments, but Sonora just kept stepping up each time they needed to.”

Sonora (13-0, 22-9) rode the power play of Abby Runte and Gracia Gagnon, while Allie Merril did all she could to control the net. Each time East Union looked poised to try to give Sonora only its second game loss in a league match, the Wildcats answered back like league champions are expected.

“I think it really is just the team work of our group,” Sonora head coach Kim Evans said. “We have no standout player, but we work hard and we never give up.
“We try to get to 25 before they do, and somehow it just continues to happen.”

 Sonora cruised in the final game, pouncing to a 16-7 lead and never looking back. The Lancers were able to muster some offense, but after to pulling to within two points, East Union’s effort and attitude simply weren’t enough. Posz’ effort spoke volumes, as she played out of position most of the contest in attempt to make up for the Lancers’ losses.

“Lexy really did step up for us tonight,” Bowers said. “She was able to play everywhere and anywhere and really had an all-around great game.

“She took on the captain role and the leader of the team and drove the ship.”

The Lancers got 11 digs, three kills, two blocks and a pair of assists from Posz, while Maruca chipped in with six assists and two aces. Starla Beltran added four digs.

East Union will try to close out the VOL season with a win when it hosts to the Sierra Timberwolves Tuesday. Sonora will try to close out its perfect league season when it meets up with Oakdale High in the regular season finale.
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