Vista volleyball improves to 2-0 in league with win over Rio AmericanoBy: Matt Long, Sports Editor
In arguably their biggest match of the season, Vista del Lago’s varsity boys’ volleyball team came together Thursday and beat Capital Athletic League rival Rio Americano in four games, 20-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-21.
The win improved Vista’s league record to 2-0, as it came two days after a 25-4, 25-4, 25-3 throttling of Casa Roble.
How the Eagles (12-7 overall) played against the Rams and how they practiced Wednesday were keys to the win over Rio Americano (1-1 in league, 7-4 overall).
“We knew this match would be a fight, so we worked hard to play our game against Casa Roble and not let off,” Vista coach Jen Silva said. “We also had a good practice yesterday. We did a drill where the kids knew what offensive play they needed to run to score a point. We tipped for at least 12 points today, and the middle backset showed up several times today. We worked really hard on those things yesterday and that helped us win today.”
Things didn’t start off well for the Eagles, however, as Vista couldn’t get out of its own way at the start. They only lost the game by five points, but didn’t play well.
“We were just nervous the first game,” sophomore setter Blake Fanshier said. “Last year, Rio was really good and we were nervous, but after we saw them, we picked it up and realized what we could do.”
Vista’s last lead in game one was a 9-9 tie. After an ace by Noah Silva brought them to within one point, 17-16, the Eagles slumped again, as Rio Americano scored the next three points to take a 20-16 lead. Vista never got closer than three points to the lead the rest of the game.
“The first game we were all off,” Coach Silva said. “Everybody struggled. Passing, serving, even setting, we couldn’t find the inside of the court. The nice thing is we got all that out of the way in one game. We played much closer to our potential the rest of the way.”
Vista jumped out to a 4-1 lead in game two and never trailed. Rio Americano trailed by two points, 8-6, but never got any closer to the lead.
The Eagles fell behind 5-2 early in game three, but led most of the game by two-to-four points. Up 20-18 with the game on the line, Vista scored the next five points to take the game. Fanshier served an ace, and Noah Silva turned an errant Rio pass into a point with a kill at the net to boost the team.
The fourth and final game was the most competitive of them all, as neither team trailed by more than four points. Vista led 16-12, but Rio fought back and tied the game at 17 and again at 18. Fanshier made a big block at the net followed by a tip from Dominic Baciocco, which put the Eagles in front 20-18. The teams alternated winning the next six points, as the Raiders fought to tie the score, but Vista always had an answer. In the end, Kyle Herbers scored off a tip and Silva served an ace for final point of the match.
“We played really well the last three games,” Fanshier said. “We hit a rhythm and were getting passes, sets and kills and putting balls down the first time over the net.”
The win gives the Eagles momentum heading into next week with matches against Mira Loma and Christian Brothers.
“I feel pretty good about the rest of the season,” Fanshier said. “I think we’re going to do well the next couple of weeks in league.”