STOCKTON — Weston Ranch stumbled out of the gate Tuesday with a 23-25 first-set loss to Chavez before rebounding to take the next three 25-12, 25-22, 25-9 to down the visiting Titans 3-1 in non-league volleyball action.
“We came out pretty flat,” Cougars coach Eddie Menzel said. “You have to put a lot of that on me. as that is kind of my fault for not having the girls ready to go and ready to start the match off like we are capable of.
“But we responded in the second game, and even in the first we came back and made it competitive.”
In the first set, the Weston Ranch (5-1) rallied from a 19-11 deficit before clawing back to 24-23 behind five kills and a block by Amaya Finley only to serve the ball into the net to hand Chavez (0-3) the 25-23 win. After five ties in the second set with the score tied 5-5, the Cougars went on a 10-1 run to pull away.
Finley had the hot hand, smashing out 17 kills along with two aces and two blocks.
“I think the main focus for us is that we just need to get out of our heads,” Finley said. “Because once we start thinking too hard and start getting down on ourselves that keeps us away from winning.
“But as long as we play as a team and communicate, I think we can handle it.”
Entering the third set with a split, Chavez shot out to a 9-2 lead before an 8-0 service run by Finley by a 7-0 service run by Senecia Patten behind four aces gave Weston Ranch a lead it would not relinquish the rest of the night.
“We were down 9-2 to start off the third set,” Menzel said. “Those two runs back-to-back were really huge. The first one got us back in the game and the second one got us the lead.”
Patten finished with nine aces, four blocks and three kills.
“I came out struggling in the beginning because I was nervous,” Patten said. “And toward the end I was just ready to end it.”
Patten had an eight-point service run in the fourth set with three aces and Judit Zamora (six kills, six aces) finished the game on a 6-0 run with four of those six points coming on aces.
“We were struggling at the beginning and I just wanted to make sure we finished strong,” Zamora said. “I didn’t want us to go to a fifth set – I wanted to go home.”
Nayeli Moreno had 28 assists for the Cougars and Alyssa Phann had four kills.
Weston Ranch 2, Chavez 0
Julianna Lassiter had four kills, three aces and five assists for the Cougars in their 25-18, 25-18 win.
Ammie Oreio added six aces and two kills.
Weston Ranch 2, Chavez 1
Perla Prado nailed six aces to lead the Cougars to a 25-18, 24-26, 15-11 win.
Marisell Martinez added three digs for Weston Ranch and Chelsea Guerrero had two kills.