Eagles fall to Christian Brothers in Division III section finals

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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The young Vista del Lago Eagles struggled on the big stage Thursday night at UC Davis with the Division III Sac-Joaquin Section title on the line.

Playing against top-seeded Christian Brothers, Vista never got things going and lost in three straight games, 25-20, 25-15 and 25-19.

Despite the loss, the Eagles will advance to the Northern California playoffs Tuesday with a match on the road.

“We didn’t play our best,” Vista coach Wayne Campbell said. “If we would have, we would have been right there. It was like night and day from the Placer match (Tuesday). We didn’t serve well at all. They kept the ball in play and we hit a lot of balls out. I think we might have been a little intimidated by the gym or atmosphere or something.”

Vista last had a piece of the lead in game one at 8-8. Christian Brothers scored five of the next six points, forcing Campbell to call a timeout. Vista hung around, getting as close as two points to the lead, 22-20, but the Falcons scored the game’s final three points to take game one.

Vista’s biggest lead of the night game early in game two when the Eagles scored three of the game’s first four points. The Falcons, however, scored the next six points to take a 7-3 lead and Campbell called another timeout. Vista got as close as three points, trailing 13-10, but couldn’t sustain the level of play. Christian Brothers outscored Vista 12-5 the rest of the game to take it, 25-15.

Down but not out, Vista trailed in the third game 13-10, but again, couldn’t make a run to win the match and never got closer than three points the rest of the way.

“We lacked a lot of energy and didn’t serve well,” Vista sophomore Grace Lemmo said. “When we get down, we need to learn to keep the ball in play. Before the match, we were really excited, but also a little nervous and I think our nerves got to us. The loss, though, is definitely easier to take though, since we have another game.”

While the Eagles didn’t play well, Christian Brothers did, especially defensively in the back row, as their play kept Vista’s big hitters from scoring many points.

“They made it tough to score and we also didn’t pass well so that made our sets a bit off,” Campbell said. “Then when we tried to hit it, we either hit it out or not well enough to keep them from digging it.”