Folsom drops three games to Rocklin

By: Matt Long of the Telegraph
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Folsom High’s varsity girls’ volleyball team didn’t win a game against Rocklin Wednesday night, but the team played decent volleyball and continues to play hard despite not a lot of success.

Rocklin (7-2 in the SFL, 17-7 overall) defeated Folsom in four games Sept. 19 and is the better team, but Folsom (2-6 in league, 5-14 overall) started building some momentum in that loss and has played better ever since. Folsom competed and held its own against the Thunder, but in the end, Rocklin won the match 25-22, 25-16 and 25-18.

“It was frustrating because we showed glimpses of how we can play and we could have taken any one of those games and didn’t, but at the same time I’m also proud of the team that we did show that glimpse,” Folsom Coach Michella Harvey said. “This was the most controlled we played. We didn’t fall behind by a lot and it wasn’t a roller coaster-type match with a lot of ups and downs. We were quickly able to get out of any ruts that we were in.”

Folsom’s best game came at the start. Despite falling behind by five, 15-10, the Lady Bulldogs showed some fight after a timeout and came back to tie the game at 18. After some Rocklin errors, Meredith MacDonnell converted a kill attempt and Sydney Radell, who played well off the bench, made a block which tied the game at 18.

Rocklin scored the next four points to regain control of the match. With their backs to wall facing six match points, Folsom fought off three of them before Rocklin won the game, 25-22.

Folsom didn’t let the loss get them down; as they continued to compete, working up a 12-10 lead midway through game two. MacDonnell, Radell, Caroline Lombardi and Emma Leng led the way. Leng, like Radell, played a strong match off the bench.

The Bulldogs, however, slipped a bit the second half of the match, as Rocklin outscored them 15-4 the rest of the way to take the game 25-16.

Folsom hung with the Thunder in the third game as well, leading 9-8 at one point before falling behind 17-14. Again, Rocklin finished strong, winning eight of the last 12 points to win 25-18, but Folsom played hard to the end.

Karmin Brown and Abbey Hagiwara played their usual steady games, Hagiwara making dig after dig, while Brown made solid contributions both at the net and from the back row. Setter Sabrina Bigley distributed the ball throughout the match, while Kristen Whitney played well, especially defensively, before a wrist injury forced her from the match.

“It’s hard to defend whichever one of their hitters gets going,” Harvey said. “We worked on blocking yesterday in practice and I thought that showed in Sydney’s game. Abbey was all over the place digging balls and Emma played well. Offensively, we worked hard, but our serving killed us.”

While the team didn’t play with the energy Harvey had hoped for the effort was there.

“I think they’ve played with that energy level for so long that they’re used to it,” Harvey said “I’d still like to see more energy from them. I think it could earn us a few more points.”

The Bulldogs play in the Stockton Classic Tournament on Saturday before traveling to Oak Ridge on Monday.