Vista volleyball has no trouble with El Dorado

By: Brett Ransford/Telegraph Correspondent
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Vista del Lago sent a group of familiar faces home on Thursday night after beating Sierra Valley Conference rival El Dorado 3-0 in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs; 25-20, 25-9, 25-10. Large groups of high school fans from both teams filled sections of the stands as the Lady Eagles’ won their third match in as many games over El Dorado. There were a pair of lead changes and five ties through the first 20 points of the first game, but Vista settled in through the next two and rolled to a second playoff sweep. El Dorado brought a competition level indicative and elevated in comparison to East Union on Tuesday. Coach Patrick Sanders said he regretted exiting a friendly league opponent in an early round, but where the first round lacked a challenge, El Dorado brought setting, hitting, blocking and a whole lot more digs. Libero Jordan Cryderman, Kelsey Sampson and Caroline Sipiora took the brunt of defensive duties, accounted for 41 of a total 67 Vista digs. Cryderman led with 16, Sampson 14, Sipiora 11. Sipiora again led the match with 16 kills and in a critical first game she and Sampson, who had seven kills, turned an 11-11 tie into a seven-point lead. Vista then trailed only once in the second and third games. “We stepped it up skill wise and rose up to the level of our competition. We can still play better, though, and get that extra little smidgen out of us,” said Sipiora. “We are fired up right now and our goal is to win the next two and then on to state.” The second game began and ended on Vista kills, of which they were spread between Kendall Moore, Sipiora, Kelsey Sampson and Kara Campbell. El Dorado used its size to block kill attempts, but Faith Smith’s setting kept the ball moving to all of her hitters. Vista re-took their first and last lead at 6-5 in the third game on a kill from Campbell, who finished with five. Sampson’s match-point serve was kicked around, but eventually not returned and she and her team collected themselves in preparation for whatever it takes to keep winning. “This match was intense. Yesterday we had a really good practice so that helped us, but we have to come out fired up and ready to go, no matter what. We have to continue to play hard. It doesn’t matter if it takes three games, five games, whatever. We’re ready,” said Sampson. Should the Lady Eagles need support, they need only look into the stands on Thursday night. The match against East Union lacking, but a choreographed group of students went toe-to-toe with a matching El Dorado group. “It’s a spontaneous thing where we just show up, head to our corner and do our thing,” said Mark LePage, who had a goal and three assists in Vista’s 5-0 playoff win just hours before. “We’re planning on being here for the rest of the games.” Sanders said he appreciates the increase in fan support as his team progresses toward a potential repeat section title. He also said he expects a tough competition ahead against Placer in the semifinals on Tuesday at Vista.