Eagles take Trojans to five games but lose

By: Matt Long
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It’s been a roller coaster season for Vista del Lago’s varsity girls’ volleyball team and despite a loss to Oak Ridge in five games on Thursday, the match definitely served as a high-point in the season. The Lady Trojans, perennially one of the top volleyball teams in the Sacramento region, have pounded the Eagles for two years but on this night, the Eagles took the game to them, winning the first two games 25-23 and 25-20. Trailing in game one, 20-18, the Eagles came from behind, scoring seven of the last 10 points to take the match. Vista freshman outside hitter Caroline Sipiora put her team on her shoulders late, picking up five kills out of her team’s final seven points. The other two points came on Oak Ridge errors. Proving game one wasn’t a fluke, the Eagles came out equally strong in the second game, opening up a 13-7 lead and maintained it until Oak Ridge scored a couple late points to make the final score 25-20. Throughout the match, the Eagles got contributions from everyone. The team starts three freshmen in Sipiora, fellow outside hitter Jordan Cryderman, as well as Kelsey Sampson. Those three played well from start to finish, as did middle blockers Brittanie McKenzie and Jessica Pena, setter Robin Clawson and libero Kelsey Hughes. Not only did Vista hit well, but the back row was strong, led by Hughes and Cryderman, routinely digging Oak Ridge’s kills to the point where the Lady Trojans stopped smashing the ball for a good while during the middle portion of the match and tried tipping the ball over instead. The Lady Trojans, quite impressively, regrouped to win the next three games to take the match, 25-14, 25-15 and 17-15, but the Eagles served notice that they are an up-and-coming team. “I liked how we came out and competed,” Vista coach Patrick Sanders said. “We’ve been working on that. We start three freshmen and we’ve had our ups and downs this year, but it’s been fun watching us grow. Tonight proves we’re getting closer to getting over the hump. “We pushed a team that’s one of the 10 best in Sacramento to five games so even though we lost, there are no negatives tonight. We’re getting close and one of these days we’re going to get over the hurdle.”