LATHROP – Sometimes, all you need is a timeout.
Lathrop found itself playing poorly and trailing visiting East Union in the second and fourth sets of the Spartans’ 25-20, 25-20, 21-25, 25-18 Valley Oak League volleyball victory Wednesday night, and on both occasions Lathrop called timeout to regroup.
And it worked.
In the second set, the Spartans came out of the timeout and scored four points, finishing the game on an 8-1 run. In the fourth set, Lathrop bolted out of the timeout on a 6-2 run to go ahead 16-13 and never again trailed.
“Although this is weird to say for a team that is 3-5 in league, we get comfortable with leads,” Spartans coach Heather Anderson said. “We let our energy drop and kind of get in a slump in the middle of a set.
“Sometimes I need to be their biggest cheerleader and sometimes I need to rip them, and tonight I went with Option 2. I needed a couple of timeouts to let them know they were not getting it done. Once we got on it, we fixed the fact we were not communicating and we finished – something we normally struggle with.”
Early in the match, Juliana Denning had problems in the net for Lathrop (3-5 VOL, 3-11 overall), but she was able to turn it around to finish with six kills.
“My coach told me I was turning my body wrong,” Denning said. “So I kept it in my head to do it right and then I got really good sets.
“Coach said to go all at it so I went all at it and it paid off.”
Avleen Kaur made the best of her playing time for the Spartans with seven kills, three blocks and two aces.
“I don’t play that often,” Kaur said. But when I do, I try and play my best. I just got for it and I get pretty excited.
“Sometimes I just Hail Mary it and I guess luck was on my side tonight.”
A call up from the sophomore team earlier this season, Lathrop’s Mary Cotton was intimidating at the net with five blocks and two kills.
“When they went up to swing, I didn’t go up until I saw them in full extension,” Cotton said. “We did well – we talked, came out really strong and had good dig coverage.”
Ayzher Ocsona and Joy Bautista (six kills, two aces, block) had 15 digs apiece for the Spartans. Karina Chavez (three aces) had nine assists and Fasha Hayes (two aces, block) had eight assists.
There were seven ties in the third set won 25-21 by the Lancers (3-4, 3-6), with the last one at 19-19. East Union went on a 3-0 run highlighted with a suffocating block by Ragan Fowzer. Lathrop crept back to within 23-21 but then hit the ball into the net, setting up the game-winning kill by Vanessa Cuellar (seven assists, five kills, two aces and a block).
Sophia Williams had 11 kills and four blocks for the Lancers. LaEssa Pierce added 32 digs and an ace, Grace Hedin 12 assists and two kills and Kiana Day four kills.
East Union 2, Lathrop 1
Marcella Hansen led the Lancers to a 20-25, 25-19, 15-13 win with 21 digs and six kills.
Jaidyn Valencia added four kills and four blocks for East Union and Angelica Mercado had 12 assists and three aces.
Jocelyn Hurtado had five digs and three aces for the Spartans. Krystal Tempra made six digs and Jailyn Annese had four aces.
Lathrop 2, East Union 0
Izzy Lanzarin hammered out five consecutive service points in a row for the Spartans in their 25-18, 25-22 win.
Darlene Hoang was 9 of 9 from the service line for Lathrop with three aces and she had four blocks and two kills. Casey Folgar added eight service points, four aces, four kills and two digs; Nicole Vasconcuelos had eight assists and three aces and Angelica Gomez had three digs.