YERMO • The Silver Valley volleyball team couldn't find a way to string two games together on Thursday.
The Trojans lost 3-1 to the Lone Pine Eagle who remain undefeated in Desert Mountain League play. Silver Valley seemed to almost be two different teams during the match. One manifestation of the Trojans played the No. 1 team in the DML as equals while the other was dominated by the Eagles. Silver Valley's better side came out in the first and third games.
The Trojans won the first game 26-24 and lost a close third game 25-23. They didn't appear to be the same team in their losses in the second, 25-8, and fourth, 25-23, games.
"I don't know (what changed between games)," Silver Valley coach Kathy Langston said. "It's like they started playing safe instead of just playing. We've told them to just go out and play. They just seem to start trying to be safe and not make mistakes. When they do that they start hitting it softer and it ends up in the net or they'll dink the ball into each other. The passing gets off."
One thing that wasn't off for either team during the match was the strength of the teams' serves.
The Trojans and the Eagles each had 11 aces.
"There was some strong serving on both sides," Lone Pine coach Mel Joseph said. "We were letting balls fall into the seams, and we got caught on our heels on a few of those."
Lone Pine got its aces from Ruth Serna, Nicole Tweedy and Larixta Ramirez. Silver Valley got aces out of Alexis Williams, one; Lina Oliva, one; Brenna Foster, two; and Jessica Negin who led the team with seven.
"When Jessica gets going she's really strong," Langston said. "She just serves it in there. It looked like they were kind of not sure what to do when she served. The ball just kind of comes in and drops in front of their players. No one really was going after her serves."
Negin helped give the Trojans a chance in the third game with her serves. Silver Valley led 2-0 in the third game and were in need of something to build on after the 17-point loss in the second game. That's when Negin hit five-straight serves for aces to give the Trojans their largest lead, 8-2, of the night. However, Silver Valley let the Eagles tie and take the lead later in the game, and the Trojans never regained their composure. Lone Pine took the third and fourth games to end the match.
Foster led the Trojans with 15 kills and added 19 digs. Negin was the leader in digs with 21. Deanna Armstrong, 19, and Carson Lesperance, 12, rounded out Silver Valley's top players in digs. Kaci Allen played a large role in the Trojans' offensive runs with 25 assists in the match.