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Weston Ranch coachs debut ends in thrilling five-set loss
WRHS VBALL1 9-1-16
Weston Ranchs Nayeli Moreno (10) and Nicka Mallari (2) hurry and get back on defense as an Edison High player gets ready to send the ball back over the net. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

STOCKTON – Weston Ranch picked the wrong time to go cold. 

Knotted up at 2-2 with Edison in the decisive fifth set Wednesday night, the Cougars saw the Vikings go on a 7-0 run and could not recover as the Edison won the non-league volleyball match  23-25, 25-21, 17-25, 25-23, 15-8 at Weston Ranch High in the season opener for both teams.

First-year coach Cougars coach Eddie Menzel realized he had an exciting game to cut his teeth on. 

“That was fun,” Menzel said. “That Edison team is a scrappy bunch. Those girls sell out, they get after the ball and they get down on the floor and that was sort of the difference tonight.

“We got up on them big in Game 3. It was a convincing win and we had a lot of momentum in our favor. But you have to give Edison credit. It took a lot of mental toughness from them to stay in there, come back and pull it out.”

Weston Ranch (0-1) never trailed in that third set, and following that set the Vikings (1-0) were forced to shuffle their lineup and that worked in their favor.

“Our energy switched up,” Edison coach Julissa Jones said. “My libero got hurt in the third game and the girls knew they had to fight. 

“We have a lot of new things. I have two brand-new setters that have never set before and every day is a challenge for us.”

The Cougars’ Amaya Finley put an end to the Vikings run in the fifth game with back-to-back kills to bring Weston Ranch within 9-4, and another set of consecutive kills to make the score 11-6, but the Cougars just could not get over the hump. 

Finley finished with 15 kills, three blocks and two aces. 

“I have learned that you have to be aggressive and want the game,” Finley said. “It does not matter what the score is I will give it my all every chance I get. 

“If the ball falls I will dive for it. You have to give it your all no matter what.”

Nayeli Moreno had 17 assists for Weston Ranch. Shaline Barut added five digs and three aces,. Arianna Garibay three kills and two blocks, Shantelle Robancho four aces and a kill, Nicka Mallari three kills and three aces and Zhane Sullivan three blocks and a kill. 

Edison swept the freshman and sophomore contests with scores of 25-22, 25-14 in the sophomore match and 25-13, 25-11 in the freshman game.