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Dominance at the net anchors Lathrops 3rd straight victory
Krystal Tempra (7) celebrates a point with her Lathrop teammates in the third game of the Spartans sweep at Sierra. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

Lathrop dominated the net Wednesday night with 35 kills to just six for host Sierra in a 25-18, 25-15, 15-15 sweep in Valley Oak League volleyball action. 

It’s the third straight win for the Spartans (2-0 VOL, 3-3 overall), while Sierra fell to 0-2 in league (7-3 overall) after taking defending champion Oakdale to a fifth set in its opener Monday.

“We had a lot of power tonight,” Lathrop coach Heather Anderson said. “That is the one thing I love about this team is when one girl is struggling we have two or three others step up. We are a lot deeper than we have been in the past and I think we kind of have this underdog mentality — we are always trying to prove something. We always take the underdog approach.

“I think we were well prepared for league because we played tough teams in our non-league games. We had some teams that really worked us over and that got us ready for the VOL.”

The Spartans were definitely ready to battle at the net and were led by Jashiti Fa’alii’s nine kills, eight digs, two blocks and an ace.

“Life in the net is really good,” Fa’alii said. “But it can be tiring. But the hard work is definitely worth it.”

Julianna Denning also had nine kills and two blocks with three of her kills coming in a 7-2 run in the first set that saw the Lathrop’s lead jump from 8-6 to 15-8. The Spartans would not trail again until the third set and then the Timberwolves led 3-1 only for Lathrop to go on a 6-2 spurt and not trail again.  

“It was a team effort,” Denning said. “We all worked together and we communicated a lot more than we did in our last game against East Union.”

Karina Chavez had 23 assists for Lathrop. Avleen Kaur added seven kills, Mary Cotton had five kills, Krystal Tempra had five digs and three aces and Jordan Corner added three kills. 

“Everybody stepped it up today,” Kaur said. “We played our best. 

“Sierra is not a bad team and we picked it up.”

Hailey Steele had three kills for Sierra and Emma Brierly had three aces and six assists. 



Sierra 2, Lathrop 1

Renee Hamilton had seven aces and Ashlee Matteroli four for the Timberwolves in their 25-16, 20-25, 15-11 win.

The Spartans were led by Khyia Thornton with seven kills. Hailey Hunter added seven aces, Jennifer Santillan had six assists and Charlene Bernal had four blocks. 


Sierra 2, Lathop 0

The Timberwolves eked out a 25-23, 25-20 win. 

Genevieve Gaines had four aces for Sierra with some great setting. Jenna Villanueva stepped it up in a new position with three great saves and Kylie Machado had two kills. 

Desiree Ambatali had seven consecutive aces for the Spartans. Crispa Ballesteros added four straight service points with five assists and three kills and Ke’mya Barnett tallied four kills.