Vista volleyball team sweeps East Union to advance

By: Brett Ransford/Telegraph Correspondent
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The reigning Sac-Joaquin Section Division III champions cruised to their first playoff win with a 3-0 clean sweep of visiting East Union on Monday night. The No. 2 seeded Lady Eagles were in and out of their gym in almost an hour, while East Union, No. 15 seed in the fourth spot of the Valley Oak League in Manteca, struggled mightily just to put 10 points on the board, which they did in just one game. Vista completed the 3-0 sweep 25-8, 25-7, 25-14. A comfortable 2-0 game lead provided Vista coach Patrick Sanders opportunities to play a large roster of players, many in the third game, including JV call-ups Sawyer Williams, who had two kills and an ace, and Alyssa Wilson. The first and second games went down in similar fashion by way of 7-1 runs. Seven times the Lady Eagles were tied with their opponent through all three games, but six of those came in the third with a new set of starters on the floor. East Union enjoyed a short 1-0 lead to start the first game, but quickly saw their only tie and last lead change before the first 7-1 run. Caroline Sipiora led the match with nine kills, one of which finished off the first game on a 5-0 run where she laid down three kills. The final five points were somewhat of a theme between Sipiora and Kendall Moore. Vista never trailed in the second game thanks to a hot start, led by kills from Hallie Robertson and Summer Nichols. Moore was one of three Lady Eagles with three aces, which led the team, and one of eight players who had at least one. Her three aces came in the last four points of the second game. Seniors Jessica Sampson and Madeline Whitlow also had three aces. Younger sister Kelsey Sampson went on a tirade in the final set to reach her six kills. Sipiora, Moore and Kelsey Sampson had 20-of-39 kills, while Sipiora and Moore did so in the first two games. The Sampson sisters jumped aboard in the final game, as Kelsey elevated and her older sister fittingly ended the match with her third ace. “At first our intensity wasn’t very high, but as the match moved on we got it up,” said Moore. “Faith Smith is a really talented freshman and did a great job of setting tonight, so it made it easy for us to do well.” Smith also had the first kill and ace of the night, which provided Vista two points on one of its biggest runs. “I think we did pretty well, but we could have played better,” said Sipiora. “We could have kept our errors down and we can still improve. [Like last year] we’re starting out a little slow and building momentum as we go, but we’ll get there.” Two of the 16 players on the Vista roster are in their first game with the varsity team, not to mention their first section playoff game. Among 16 players, 11 of them put in at least one kill and one player provided what might otherwise be different from last year’s team – size and blocking. Junior Brittany Boestra earned Vista’s only two blocks with solo jobs in the third game, which she appropriate accompanied with a pair of kills. After their first playoff win the Lady Eagles are more than making up for what they may lack in size. “We’ve lost some height, but we’re scrappy if not more than last year and we’ve got a lot of heart,” Sanders said. “I like our chances, but we’ve got to take it one game at a time and it starts with Thursday.” Vista will play host to El Dorado on Thursday at 7 p.m.