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Cougars close strong at Sierra for 1st VOL win
Nichole Bigornia of Weston Ranch sends the ball back to host Sierras end of the court. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

Weston Ranch struggled with serving errors throughout its Valley Oak League match at Sierra on Wednesday, but Judit Zamora came through in a big way in the fifth and final set.

The junior opposite closed out the match on a seven-point service run that included two aces, and the Cougars escaped with their first league win of the season, 21-25, 25-23, 21-25, 25-14, 15-6.

“We had some mistakes with service errors, but I felt that we had to give it our all in the end,” Zamora said. “You could win a game and it’s the worst game you’ve played, but you could also lose a game playing your best. We just had to give it our all. That last set I really wanted it, so I had to make sure to keep my serves in.”

Returning All-VOL first-team selection Amaya Finley secured the win with a flat-footed kill. She, in fact, finished off Games 2 and 4 with kills and finished with a match-high 20 to go with two blocks. Shantelle Robancho contributed six kills and seven aces. Setter Nayelo Moreno handed out 20 assists, Briana Yates had three blocks and Kiran Kaur contributed eight digs.

“Amaya’s pretty good,” Weston Ranch coach Ed Menzel said. “Amaya knows that she is asked to do a lot for us and she doesn’t really shy away from the responsibility. We have a good group of girls and she is well liked by them. Amaya has a pretty special gift and they all acknowledge that. They embrace it and support her.”

Weston Ranch (1-3 VOL, 2-6 overall) bounced back nicely after dropping the competitive third set in which it had six of its 18 serving errors.

In Game 4, Arianna Garibay served five straight points to give the Cougars a commanding 22-10 lead. They earned every point during that stretch, starting with Garibay’s ace followed by three kills from Finley and another from Yates.

Weston Ranch never trailed in the deciding fifth game, racking up five aces with two coming in succession from Kaur.

“We’ve had a lot of difficulty with those championship points,” Menzel said “Points 21 to 25 is where we’ve struggled all year. Every set we’ve had (in league) we scored in the 20s, we just can’t finish or close out the game. The girls are learning to be mentally tougher. They’re tough physically, they do everything we ask and work really hard, but that mental aspect is so much of the game. 

“We had 18 service errors and really and lost a tough third set. When something like that happens it’s easy to mentally shut down, and earlier in the year they did. The girls are working on becoming tougher mentally and it’s starting to show.”

Vanessa Benham recorded five kills, four aces, two blocks and five digs for Sierra (0-4, 4-7). Kylie Matteroli pitched in with five digs, six aces and two kills.



Sierra 2,

Weston Ranch 0

The Timberwolves prevailed 25-18, 25-17 behind the solid efforts of Perssable Tecle and Jenna Bolton.



Sierra 2,

Weston Ranch 0

Felicia LaQuaglia and Kayla Riley each had three aces and three aces as Sierra made quick work of Weston Ranch in a 25-10, 25-16 sweep.