The road to the playoffs got a little longer for the East Union volleyball team Monday night, and the Lancers have Kimball’s Samantha Sanders to thank for it.
The Jaguars closed out the five-set Valley Oak League volleyball match on a six-point run – with Flores netting three of those points on a pair of aces and a kill – as Kimball came from behind to win the thrilling contest at Dalben Center 22-25, 25-20, 25-17, 13-25, 15-12.
“Sam has been a consistent player for us,” Jaguars coach Suzette Mendonca said. “When the game is on the line Sam is the one you want on the back line.”
Coming into Monday’s contest the two teams were tied in the loss column with three league losses behind league-leading Sonora and Oakdale. Kimball is now 7-3 in the VOL, 16-16 overall and East Union drops to 5-4, 17-8-2.
“I told the girls that we have a tougher road in front of us now,” Lancers coach Rich Posz said. “We have to be prepared to play with intensity and can’t afford to go out and lay any eggs.
“We have to push through.”
Faced with elimination in the fourth set the Lancers went on a 5-0 run to boost their lead from 13-8 to 18-8. Monica King, Madison Hoffman, Loretta Kakala and Leslie Cuevas each had a kill in that run.
Cuevas led East Union with 12 kills.
“It was a fast game,” Cuevas said. “And we played with a lot of energy as a team.
“We showed that we are strong and we fought for it tonight.”
King finished with nine kills and Kakala seven. Courtney Posz had 11 service points and 19 assists and Jami Arceo had 12 digs.
Lathrop 3, Sierra 1
The host Spartans (1-9) earned their first VOL win of the season behind Loreal Taylor’s 15 kills and 17 blocks. Scores were: 25-15, 27-25, 23-25, 25-17.
Stephanie Maduli (3 kills) and Desiree Mendola (2 kills) each added three aces. Jaime Ready put up 25 assists to go with a match-high four aces.
Claudia Hunter collected six kills, three aces, two blocks and four digs to lead Sierra. Morgan Willis (5 kills, 3 digs, 2 aces) and Tayler Moss (3 digs, 8 assists, 3 aces) were other contributors.
Sonora 3, Weston Ranch 0
Weston Ranch had the visiting Wildcats on the ropes with a two-point lead late in the first game, but Sonora (10-0, 20-4) again proved why it is the top team in the VOL. Sonora ended up sweeping, 25-20, 25-15, 25-15.
Leaders for Weston Ranch were Victoria Gulley (6 kills, 2 aces), Alex Marapao (8 assists), Donna Marapao (8 digs) and Taylor Holiday (3 blocks).
Oakdale 3, Manteca 0
The Mustangs (9-1, 21-5) dominated at Manteca on Monday, rolling to a 25-10, 25-6, 25-6 victory.
East Union 2, Kimball 0
The Squires (8-1, 19-1) controlled the match early and successfully avenged their only loss of the season, 25-11, 25-22.
Alyssa Burrola (13 digs) and Deja Guzman (12 digs) were instrumental in the win, playing near-flawless defense in the opening set. Jordyn Posz served 14 points, Sam Owen thumped three kills and Melissa King handed out nine assists.
Sierra 2, Lathrop 0
Megan Westfall recorded six service aces as Sierra cruised, 25-18, 25-15.
Bela Carter chipped in three aces to go with three digs. Libero Juliana DeAnda led the back row with six digs.
Weston Ranch 2, Sonora 1
Elysia Hernandez racked up nine kills, 11 digs and four aces as the Cougars (6-4, 11-4) sprinted to a 25-21, 22-25, 15-5 win.
Sabrina Rangel set 21 assists, Lily Aguilar had 11 digs and Tralaynn Simerly and Cassandra Alcazar blocked three hits apiece.
Sonora 2, Weston Ranch 0
The Cougars (1-9, 4-10) dropped an 18-25, 17-25 decision to Sonora.
Asia Stamps recorded four aces and a block. Nichole Bigornia chimed in with six assists, and Jenna Fernandez had three digs.
Sierra 2, Lathrop 1
The Timberwolves pulled out a three-game thriller (23-25, 25-22, 15-12) with Jaleyna Tremor leading the charge. She finished with 16 service points, 10 of which went for aces.
Vanessa Benham was their top hitter with two kills, and Jen Matsumoto aided the cause with good defense.
East Union 2, Kimball 1
It took three games but the Lancers freshmen won 12-25, 25-22, 15-11.
Vanessa Cuellar led East Union with 15 digs, seven assists and three aces. Kassandra Avila had 22 digs and five kills, Angelica Sebastian 10 digs and seven assists and Marcella Sayler added nine kills, 15 digs and two aces.
— Jonamar Jacinto contributed to this report.