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Lady Eagles suffer first SVC loss to Union Mine

By: Nick Pecoraro/Telegraph Correspondent
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In the first head-to-head match since Vista del Lago’s Patrick Sanders and Union Mine’s Mike Yates were named Sierra Valley Conference Co-Coaches of the Year in 2010, Yates’ Lady Diamondbacks got the better of the Lady Eagles in four games on Monday night, 25-22, 17-25, 27-25, 26-24. Led by Kelsey Sampson and Caroline Sipiora, the Lady Eagles erased six-point deficits in each of the third and fourth games. Sampson completed each Vista comeback with kills to tie each game to force extra points. Union Mine outside hitter Mikayla Tucker began to take over each game in the extra points as part of a 33-kill night. “I think it was a tiny bit frantic because we haven’t really been challenged in league yet this year. But I thought we played as a team and the energy was great. It was so close,” said Sipiora, who had 19 kills to go along with a pair of aces for Vista. After Union Mine took the first set, Vista answered back by taking a 14-9 lead in the second game behind a six-point service run from Jordan Cryderman en route to a 25-17 win. Sipiora had six kills in the set and middle blocker Kendall Moore added four —including the final point — while rejecting a few big shots from Union Mine. “I thought the girls played really well on both sides of the net. We battled back, which was nice to see. Mikayla is incredible and she’s one of the best outside hitters in the area. She was hitting around us, over us and through us,” said Sanders. “I’m optimistic about the next time we play this team. It’ll be at our place for senior night and I’m sure there will be a lot of emotion. We’ll definitely be looking forward to it.” “I felt like we had it. We had some ups and downs but overall, I think we stayed confident and didn’t quit,” said the junior Sampson, who led the Lady Eagles with 20 kills. “We see hits like that every day in practice. It’s nothing new for us. We know we can beat this team and it’s going be intense the next time we play each other.” Freshman Faith Smith had 42 assists to lead the Lady Eagles (14-8, 4-1 SVC). Both teams were undefeated in league coming into the match. Union Mine now holds a one-game lead over Vista in the SVC. The two teams, who are developing a tremendous rivalry, face each other again on the final day of the season at the Eagles’ Nest on Nov. 2.