Sierra did not manage a kill in its first 10 points Tuesday night but eventually got on track, notching seven kills the rest of the first set on the way to a 25-21, 25-23, 17-25, 25-23 Valley Oak League volleyball win over host East Union at Dalben Center.
“We came into the night not entirely awake or ready to play,” Timberwolves coach Kim Ellis said. “We definitely have some things we have to work on like how to start off the game at 110 percent.
“We will be working on that tomorrow.”
Abigail Chapman tallied 10 kills, two blocks and an ace for Sierra (2-2 VOL, 7-8 overall). Three of those kills came in that first set including game point on what she refers to as a decoy where she appears to be powering the ball with her right hand and then dinks it over the net with her left.
“I think that the decoy is really important,” Chapman said. “Because I have noticed that it throws the other team off.
“I try to make sure it is as convincing as possible and they don’t know when it’s coming. I think it’s more effective than anything else.”
Sophia Marian (six aces, 14 service points, seven kills) towed the service line in the decisive fourth set with the score tied at 13-13, the 29th tie of the night to that point. She reeled off four consecutive points behind three aces to give the Timberwolves a 17-13 lead. While there were four more ties in the set, Sierra trailed just once more at 22-23.
“We always say when you are back at the line to serve you are controlling the game,” Marian said. “It is up to you how the point is going to go, so I try to go back there, clear my mind, and all I think about is where I am going to serve, not just to get it over.
“I have a goal and that helps me get it in and stay calm by having a plan.”
Zoe Kossart was the workhorse in the net for the Timberwolves with 11 kills and two blocks, and she grew frustrated with the multiple delays for referee conferences. She ended the match on a powerful ace.
“I was kind of mad,” Kossart said. “I feel like the game was getting delayed a lot and going slow, so whenever I got the chance I wanted to pound it and give them something they couldn’t argue about.
“I wanted it to be a decisive ending so there could be no debate so I channeled my aggression, focused and put in a good ball because I wanted to win it for my team because they were working really hard.”
Sierra libero Karlie Burns patrolled the back row with nine digs along with two aces. Sophia Threet dished out 17 assists for the Timberwolves and Cianna Leonardo added 14 assists and two aces.
Mariela Navarro made 10 kills and two blocks for the Lancers (0-4, 10-12). Laura Montanez and Marcella Carrenza hammered out five aces apiece with three aces and three kills for Jatziry Garcia and two aces and two kills for Gisele Velazquez.
“Our team works hard,” East Union coach Michelle Sims said. “We tend to play to the competition level. We are working on playing our game and realizing what we need to do.
“When we make mistakes we need to move on from them and fix the little things. We will start preparing for Manteca and look forward to playing our cross town rival.”
Thursday night at 6:15, the Lancers host Manteca and Sierra hosts Kimball.
Sierra 2, East Union 0
Amari Currey posted five kills and three aces for the Timberwolves in a 25-11, 25-8
Hannah Threet added four kills and three aces with five assists each for Gurjaap Kaur and Danica Cesante.
Gwendolyn Baker notched eight digs, two aces and two assists for the Lancers. Shebra Razaya added three kills and five assists and Jill Ramirez made five assists.
Sierra 2, East Union 0
Kylee Pimentel led the Timberwolves to a 25-10, 25-15 sweep with five aces, a kill, six assists and three digs.
Luna Lopez added four aces, three kills, two blocks and a dig; Rachel Dole an ace and four digs; Angelica Arenas a kill and a block and Zhanee Sutton three kills.
Jocelyn Pena tallied three aces and a kill for the Lancers. Addy Soulier chipped in 13 digs, Chantell Ochoa nine digs, Kaylee Bruan six assists and Emily Galvan three assists.