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EYES ON THE PRIZE: Lathrop moves closer to WAC volleyball championship
Spartans sweep reigning titlist Beyer
Bulletin volleyball 2019
Lathrop's Jahsita Fa'ali'i hits the ball past Beyer's Skylar DeBerry. - photo by Photo by WAYNE THALLANDER

LATHROP — Lathrop stumbled in the first game with Beyer on Tuesday night, battling through five ties and a pair of lead changes before pulling away and dominating the rest of the match on the way to a 25-18, 25-12, 25-7 win over the defending Western Athletic Conference champion.
The Spartans (10-0 WAC, 15-3 overall) lead both the Patriots (8-2, 14-8) and Mountain House by two matches with four to go as they seek their first league title.
“The nerves were a little evident in the beginning,” Lathrop coach Heather Anderson said. “We were a little tense in that first set which kind of affected our communication. But once we settled in and played our game we put together a really strong two sets.
“We were really hyped up for tonight so once we got past the nerves we were able to put forth our best effort.”
Twice during the match, with the first time coming in the first set with Lathrop leading 16-12, Patriots coach Sarah Gonzalez called a timeout and rejuvenated her team with Beyer scoring four straight points after those timeouts, closing to 16-16 in the first game.
“I don’t like calling timeouts as a coach because I want the girls to figure it out,” Gonzalez said. “But when they are in a rut you have to give them that spark, give them that energy.
“Lathrop is a really good team with a good coach and good players — our only competition so far in league with wins and losses — and we ended up just getting overpowered.”
Jahsita Fa’ali’i (21 kills, seven digs, two aces) got a block in the second set to tie the game at 1-1 and added a kill and a pair of aces in an 8-2 run that put the Spartans ahead the rest of the night with the exception of a 1-1 tie in the third game.
“I was kind of nervous coming into this match because I knew they were going to come in and fight back after we beat them the first time,” Fa’ali’i said. “So I had to come strong and stay strong.
“In that third set we did not want to let up. We did not want to give them any chance to come back.”
The Spartans started the third set on a 13-1 run and after Beyer’s second 4-0 post-timeout spurt, Lathrop finished out the night on a 12-2 run.
“This was a really big match for us,” Spartans sophomore Krystle Sakay said. “And we really wanted to make a statement in our league and being 10-0 now is a really big accomplishment.”
Lathrop’s Hailey Hunter controlled the back line with 29 digs along with two aces. Sakay added 15 digs, three kills and two aces, Sydney Hanks four kills and two blocks, Ke’Mya Barnett three kills and two blocks and Jennifer Santillan 28 assists.

Junior varsity
Lathrop 2, Beyer 0

The Spartans handled the Patriots 25-9, 25-19
Isabella Gomez had five kills and two digs to lead Lathrop. Thrayclie Acoba added seven digs, Godwina Ogbeide made three kills and two digs, Camila De La Garza had 14 assists and three digs and Lylliana Avila hustled out 19 digs with two kills.

Lathrop 2, Beyer 1

After getting nipped 23-25 in the first set, the Spartans bounced back to win the next two 25-11, 15-13.
Alaba Olaleye led Lathrop with eight kills, two aces and two digs. Irais Martinez added four kills,  two aces and eight digs; Alejandra Vazquez dished out 20 assists and two digs; Alondra Basulto had three aces and two digs; Dana Mandanas made nine digs and Celeste Narvaez chipped in five digs.