PV handles Shasta volleyball in straight sets, 25-13, 25-20, 25-14
Shasta’s Courtney Oilar goes up for a kill Tuesday in the Wolves’ straight sets loss to Pleasant Valley. (Photo by Aaron Williams / Shasta County Sports)
You can prepare for a team in practice, but it’s difficult to really understand how big or fast a team is until you see them playing across you.
The Shasta Wolves volleyball team learned a lot about Pleasant Valley on Tuesday in a straight sets home loss to the Vikings, 25-13, 25-20, 25-14.
The Wolves (11-11, 1-2 Eastern Athletic League) learned the Vikings’ 6-foot-3 sophomore hitter Julia Shepherd can beat you from either side or the back row. They learned junior setter Jordan Bennett puts the ball in her hitter’s wheelhouse. They learned junior captain Makenna Joyce can beat you in any number of ways.
Shasta coach Todd Taylor hopes Tuesday’s loss is something his squad learns from going forward to the next meeting with PV (15-6, 3-0) and beyond.
“We haven’t seen that speed yet this year even in some of the tournaments we’ve been in,” he said. “We have to figure out how to play with that going forward.”
The Vikings jumped out to 9-2 first-set lead on as Shasta had four unforced errors in the match’s first 11 points. PV, meanwhile, was racking up kills and assist on the Wolves.
Bennett had five of her match-high 19 assists in the first set and Shepherd had six kills in the first stanza.
“They are a very efficient team,” Taylor said.
Bennett set up Joyce for a kill to put the set at 23-13 and a Shasta hitting error ended it on the next serve. In addition to 10 team kills, the Vikings had four aces in the first set.
The Wolves showed a bit of spunk, however, in the second set as the Vikings won 25-23. But it wasn’t easy.
Shasta took its first lead on a Courtney Oilar block of Shepherd at the 3-2 mark and then fought back from down 15-10 to trail 22-21 after Zoe Lin’s service ace. After the Vikings made it 24
-22 on a combo block by Bennett and Shepherd on Britney Blomquist, the Wolves got the benefit of a PV hitting error and were one point from knotting the second set. But Karli Lindquist’s kill off a Bennett assist end the set at 25-23.
“We showed some better effort and played better defense (in the second set),” Taylor said. “We had a couple of blocks which made them start tipping the ball a bit.
“But they work from pin to pin (side to side) and they have some good hitters.”
Pleasant Valley raced out to a 19-11 lead after a block of Oilar by Sierra Rosenbalm and Shepherd. Two points later Bennett found Shepherd for an explosive kill down the line and PV finished off the match with a combo block of Lily MacMillan.
Bennett finished with 19 assists for Pleasant Valley, while Shepherd had 10 kills and two aces. Joyce had six kills and three aces.
For the Wolves, Lauren Weaver led the team with five kills, while Oilar, who came in banged up, had two kills and three blocks. Blomquist lead the Wolves with seven assist and Emily Johnson added four assists and two kills.
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