LODI — Heather Anderson will get to know a lot about her Lathrop High volleyball team this week, her first as the Spartans’ head coach.
Lathrop has three matches on consecutive nights ending with its home opener against Johansen of Modesto tonight. On Wednesday, Anderson was encouraged by the team’s competitive spirit in a five-set defeat to Lodi.
No set was decided by more than four points, as Lodi took the first two 23-25, 21-25 before Lathrop (0-2) rallied to tie it, 25-22, 25-23 before dropping the deciding game, 14-16.
“Every set was super, super close,” Anderson said one night after Lathrop got swept by Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoff qualifier Liberty Ranch. “The best part of it was our mental toughness. The reality is Lathrop never played in big games, and the girls were able to step up and didn’t crumble after losing the first two sets.
“That to me was huge. We can definitely feel a change of pace from last year and that’s what we’ve been after.”
Sophomore middle blocker Avleen Kaur rapped a kill early in the fifth set as Lathrop roared to a 6-2 lead.
Malia Akers led the attack with nine kills, Juliana Denning added five and Joy Bautista had four to go with 24 digs. Setters Karina Chavez and Fasha Hayes dished out 10 assists apiece. Ayzher Oscona had 24 digs, Brittany Johnson contributed 20 and Danya Phillips led the team in blocks with three.
Central Catholic 295
The Buffaloes are 2-0 after squeaking past Central Catholic at Manteca Park Golf Course on Wednesday. They have their third match in as many days today back on their home track with Valley Oak League contender Oakdale visiting.
Manteca improved from its season opener by three strokes. Kylee Eberle paced the Buffaloes with a 52. Bella Gonzales contributed a 52, Taylor Reed a 57, Haighley Kissee a 63 and Sierra Martinez a 64. Emma Leamon’s 54 led Central Catholic.
Weston Ranch 374
Sierra’s Bryanna Gavino was low medalist with a 52 at Van Buskirk Golf Course. Legacy Barnes added a 56 for the Timberwolves (1-1).
Sierra Strambler shot a 61 for Weston Ranch (0-2).