Vista volleyball ready for postseason

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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A loss on the road to Rio Americano earlier this season cost Vista del Lago the No. 2 seed in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II volleyball playoffs.

The Eagles (17-10) instead earned the fourth seed and will open the playoffs at home Tuesday against 13th-seeded Florin. If Vista wins, it will play host to either fifth-seeded Golden Valley or 12-seeded Lathrop at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Having split with Rio Americano during Capital Athlete League play, the Eagles know they can beat the second seed, and having taken top-seeded and Capital Athletic League champion El Camino to five games in two meetings, the Eagles know they can play with the best team in the tournament. A section championship is within reach if the team plays well. Coach Jen Silva said if the team plays up to their capability, they can beat anyone in the bracket.

“The key will be confidence,” Silva said. “In every sport, confidence can make or break your game.”

The Eagles came ever so close to upsetting El Camino last Thursday in the regular-season finale. To show how evenly matched the Eagles are with top-seeded El Camino, four of the five games were decided by two points with the other game a three-point difference. The Eagles took the opening game 25-23 before losing the next two games, 25-22 and 25-23. Vista rallied to win the fourth game 26-24, but dropped the deciding game, 19-17. As the scores indicate, there’s not much separating these two teams.

“We were hoping the outcome was different,” Silva said. “We worked hard the last two days in practice; working on our defense and being in the right position. We felt prepared. Even though the last time we played them went to five games too, I felt we played much better this time.”

Silva liked her team’s competitive spirit.

“We showed up to compete tonight,” Silva said. “That’s what I liked best about tonight. Unfortunately, we made some mistakes at critical times.”

In the postseason, Silva said she wants her team to play with confidence and to work hard for every point, never letting their guard down.