Volleyball: Tracy, Kimball keep up league momentum
by Bob Brownne
Oct 19, 2012 | 3195 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tracy High defeats Franklin
Tracy High’s Erica Uwaka (center) fires the shot between a pair of Franklin players during their match on Monday, Oct. 15.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Tracy High’s volleyball team won its third straight San Joaquin Athletic Association match Monday, Oct. 15, and hopes to keep up the momentum through the rest of the league season.

The Bulldogs (10-3, 4-2 SJAA) beat the Franklin Yellow Jackets 3-0 at home to open the second round of SJAA play.

The win kept the Bulldogs on a pace to stay among the top three in the SJAA, which would qualify Tracy for Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs.

Tracy had a chance to move up in the league standings with a road match against second-place Lodi on Thursday, Oct. 17, and will have another Monday, Oct. 22, against league leader Lincoln. Thursday’s match ended after press time.

Freshman middle blocker Grace Murphy said after the Franklin match that her team just needed to keep up the effort from the first half of the league season in order to move forward.

“I know if we push hard enough, we can do it,” Murphy said. “This game shows that we work really hard. In practice, we work on things like covering and communicating, which is really important to us.

“Nothing can bring us down as a team. We’re a really strong unit.”

Tracy made quick work of Franklin (3-10, 1-5 SJAA) with set scores of 25-14, 25-9, 25-17. Murphy and sophomore setter Mika Fithian led from the service line in the first set to give Tracy an early lead, with Fithian scoring a couple of aces on another string of serves at the end.

Franklin was plagued by hitting errors in the second set, but the visitors kept the match close through most of the third set until Murphy and Fithian hit some solid shots to put Tracy in the lead at the end.

Fithian scored four aces and had 19 assists, and Murphy had three aces. Samantha Gonzalez had four kills, Julia Jurado had three kills and four digs, Angela Mariani had seven digs and Casey Eddy scored two aces.

West 3, Tokay 2

Big goals don’t come easy, but with a chance to move into second place in the Tri-City Athletic League at stake, the West volleyball team went the distance for a win at home Tuesday, Oct. 16, over the Tokay Tigers of Lodi.

Every set was close, and West (19-9, 5-3 TCAL) finally prevailed with scores of 25-23, 26-24, 25-23, 20-25, 15-13.

Just as the Tigers proved reluctant to give up their second-place league standing, the Wolf Pack were determined to get past one of their traditional league rivals.

Senior blocker Joelise Bondo said it was a huge psychological boost for the team, which faced its other league rival, first-place St. Mary’s, on Wednesday, Oct. 17, before playing the last two league games at Edison and Stagg in Stockton next week.

“This is amazing, to beat Tokay,” Bondo said. “We’ve been practicing and working so hard to get to this moment, and we finally made it. We finally buckled down, got our passing and setting, and crushed it.”

Tuesday’s match went down to one last kill shot, which senior Kalani Vaughns set up for Bondo at the end of a close fifth set.

“A lot of the girls on that court are seniors, and we wanted to come out strong and win, fight for every last point,” Vaughns said. “Our job is to take control and be leaders.”

The teams split the first two sets, and Tokay (11-12, 4-3 TCAL) battled back from a 20-12 deficit to make the third set close. West proved just as stubborn and finished the set with a kill from sophomore Kate Bell.

In the fourth set, the Tigers consistently outlasted the Wolf Pack on extended rallies. Bondo, junior Merinesa Saaga and senior Jalissa Sims were effective at the net, but Tokay senior hitter Elliza North was relentless in her shots as her team won the set.

West started with the advantage in the fifth set, but again North made the shots that put the Tigers in the lead.

Vaughns went to the service line after she and Bondo made a key block, and Tokay gave up two points on missed returns to give West a 14-13 advantage. On the next rally, Vaughns got into position to set up a kill shot for Bondo, who slammed the ball past Tokay for the win.

Bondo totaled 16 kills and 14 blocks for the night. Vaughns had 33 assists, 12 kills and 18 digs; Analyssa Eclevia had 21 digs and six aces; Megan Toon had 17 digs; and Vanesa Vazquez had 12 digs.

St. Mary’s 3, West 0

West’s last home match of the season was a loss to St. Mary’s, with the Rams winning it with scores of 25-16, 25-7, 25-10 at West on Wednesday.

Bondo had five kills and five blocks; Vaughns had eight assists, three kills and three blocks; Eclevia had 12 digs and two aces; and Vasquez had five digs.

Lodi Academy 3, Delta Charter 1

The Dragons lost to Lodi Academy in a home game at Walnut Grove School in Patterson on Tuesday.

Lodi Academy won the match with set scores of 25-22, 21-25, 25-18, 25-8.

Leading for Delta Charter (2-11 Mountain Valley League) were sophomores Vanessa Sanchez, with 11 aces and three kills, and Emma Richardson, with seven aces.

The Dragons also took a 3-0 loss to Tioga on Oct. 11.

Kimball 3, East Union 0

The Jaguars kept up their pace to make the SJS Division II playoffs with their fifth win in a row, beating East Union on Monday at Kimball High.

Kimball (9-4, 7-2 Valley Oak League) won it with scores of 25-10, 25-12, 25-8.

Junior Sam Sanders led the team against East Union (7-10, 4-7 VOL) with eight kills, 12 digs and an ace, and sophomore Sarah Nunes scored seven kills and had two digs. Sophomore Maddy McLauchlin had 23 assists, and junior Vanessa Cerda had 15 digs and four aces.

• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or brownne@tracypress.com.
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