TRACY — The road to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs just got a little longer for the East Union volleyball team.
With the top three teams from the Valley Oak League earning berths, the Lancers entered Tuesday night’s contest with Kimball locked in a third-place tie with the Jaguars. Kimball handled East Union in the first set 25-14 before the Lancers narrowed the gap in the second set but still lost 25-21.
The third set saw 12 ties and three lead changes and although East Union came close the Lancers could not get over the hump and lost 25-23 to give Kimball the 3-0 sweep.
“I don’t know why but we just didn’t have any energy tonight,” East Union coach Rich Posz said. “When we are in the gym against each other there is a lot of energy and they do not want the ball to fall.”
The Jaguars (7-3 VOL, 16-16 overall) had nine aces as the Lancers (6-4, 15-13) had problems with handling the ball.
“In our passing we had a lot of errors,” Posz said. “We had 19 serve-receive errors. It is a lot to give up 19 points on that alone.
“Again, that is the energy part. They are slow to move to the ball and slow to react.”
After the decisive 25-14 victory in the first set for Kimball the Jaguars appeared to be rolling to an easy second-set victory with a 21-10 lead before East Union went on a sizzling rally with a kill by Edmi Lopez bringing the Lancers within 23-20. The two teams ended up trading points with Kimball pulling out the 25-21 win.
“I thought in the middle of the second game we started showing some energy,” Posz said. “I thought maybe that was the turning point for us, but we didn’t show the crispness that we normally do by going and getting every ball.”
Jaguars coach Suzette Mendonca credits her team’s teamwork for their success Tuesday.
“We have been working a lot on defense and making plays when balls are not hit right at you,” Mendonca said. “And all season long the girls have worked well together. They mesh well and when they get down they do not blame each other or get angry at one another. They just try as a team to come back.”
Lopez had 10 kills and two blocks for East Union. Amy Gann added six digs and four service points, Destiny Flores four kills and Melissa King eight service points and 10 assists.
Kimball 2, East Union 1
After losing the first set 25-22, the Lancers battled back to win the second 25-19 but lost the third 15-12. Sophie Williams played well as an outside hitter for East Union.
East Union 2, Kimball 1
The Lancers were edged 26-24 in the first set and won the next two 25-16, 15-12.
Kayla Montoya had six kills for East Union. Grace Hedin added five assists and Makenzie Mattos five aces.