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Vista volleyball progressing despite losing record

By: Matt Long of the Telegraph
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Vista del Lago’s varsity girls’ volleyball team has a losing record, but the team has improved since the start of the year and coach Dave Faz has been pleased with the team’s play.

The Eagles began this week with a 2-2 record in the Capital Athletic League and a 6-7 record overall prior to Tuesday’s match against Rio Americano (3-1 in league, 15-10 overall).

The young Eagles got off to a slow start in league play; losing three competitive games to El Camino on Sept. 26, 27-25, 25-23 and 25-22. Two days later on the road at Christian Brothers, the Eagles won the first two games 25-22 and 25-23, but the Falcons rallied to win the next three to take the match, 25-21, 25-13, 15-10.

“Despite the 0-2 start, I feel we’re mentally healthy,” Faz said. “All three games against El Camino came down to crunch time and we either made mental errors or just didn’t connect. It was pretty much the same thing that happened at Christian Brothers. We won the first two games, but then just couldn’t close it out.”

Faz said the team got together for a meeting and from that meeting the team described themselves as a boomerang. No matter how far they get down, they’ll always fight back. The goal has been to shrink how far they’ve been down, and thus, how far they must come back.

“Even though we lost, our match against Christian Brothers was our best of the season,” Faz said. “That match was a good learning experience and we will remember that match. If we would have played like that against El Camino, we would have won.”

The Eagles prominently feature three sophomores: Joy Kanarik, Jadyn Shaw and Katy Kasparian, and only have two seniors on the roster: Lindsey Sampson and Mikayla Newsome-Rouse. While the team has had some growing pains, Faz is pleased with everyone’s play.

“I have a young group, but I’m amazed to see how they handle the big moments,” Faz said. “I’ve been patient with them, and as a captain Lindsay has been calm and a voice of reason with them. Mikayla understands the big picture. Our seniors have been great. I’m happy with how the sophomores have progressed.”

The Eagles recovered from the losses to El Camino and Christian Brothers to pick up wins over Casa Roble and Mira Loma. Tuesday’s match with Rio Americano figured to be a competitive one.

“I’m proud at how the team has played and how they’ve tightened up their mistakes and have played at a higher level,” Faz said. “They’ve tightened up that boomerang.”

Vista plays host to El Camino Thursday and hopes to turn the tables on them the second time around. On Tuesday, Vista plays another big match at home against Christian Brothers.