Folsom drops final match to Del Oro in three

By: Matt Long of the Telegraph
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Folsom didn’t win its final game, but the Bulldogs put forth a solid effort on senior night and ended the season Wednesday with their heads up high.

Battling Sierra Foothill League rival Del Oro, Folsom was competitive from start to finish yet dropping all three games, 25-19, 25-18 and 25-22. The team finished the season with an 8-19 record.

“A win would have been nice, but the girls were having fun and that was their goal tonight,” Folsom Coach Michella Harvey said. “When you’re having fun, you’re going to play with energy and the girls did that all night. They played together and played for each other.”

Folsom got off to a good start in all three games, including the first when they led 5-2. Folsom continued its spirited play and led 15-10, but then crumbled down the stretch, as the Golden Eagles scored 15 of the last 19 points to hand Folsom a 25-19 loss.

Folsom started off a point better in game two, leading 6-2, before Del Oro came back to take a 9-8 lead. The Golden Eagles worked up a 20-12 advantage before Folsom scored five straight points to crawl back in the game, trailing 20-17. Del Oro claimed five of the last six points, however, to take the game.

The Bulldogs led the third game 7-1 and played their best ball of the night. Del Oro tied the game at 13 and later led 16-14, but Folsom, showing its heart, hung in the match and fought back to tie the game at 17, 18 and 19. Once again, Del Oro played better at the end, scoring six of the last nine points to finish off the match.

“We played with a lot of good energy tonight,” senior libero Abbey Hagiwara said. “We had a great crowd and that helped boost our energy. We did very well.”

Prior to the game, the team celebrated its six seniors: Hagiwara, Meredith MacDonnell, Kristen Whitney, Emma Leng, Caroline Lombardi and Kylie Stasko.

“The future is bright because of our younger players, but it’s because what these six seniors have done,” Harvey said. “The courage to bring it every night in games and practices in this strong league comes from the six of them. They’re a special group that’s played together for a long time. We hope to recreate the chemistry they have next year.

“I wish they would have had more tangible success – more wins – but we’ve seen the improvement this group has made this season.”

Hagiwara said it was a good year for the team.

“This was one of our better years,” Hagiwara said. “We were able to beat Granite Bay and they’re one of the top teams. We did our best and I thought we played very well this season. We rose above what other people expected of us.”