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Lady Aztecs clipped by Hawks
BARSTOW • The Lady Aztecs volleyball team fell behind early and couldn’t quite make up the lost ground, losing to Silverado, 3-0, Wednesday night at Barstow High School.
The Hawks won by scores of 25-14, 25-18, 25-18.
Barstow recovered to play a solid match, but the slow first game didn’t get things off to a good start. The Hawks did well and made some nice plays at the net, but at the same time, the Aztecs had some bad luck. Hard returns that were just out-of-bounds, hard kills that somehow got returned, anything that could go wrong for the home team, did.
“We’ve had a tough first game in three of our matches. Sometimes we have issues getting it together right off the bat, and we did tonight,” said Aztecs coach Tynelle Olivas. “We can’t allow other teams to get a lead on us right from the start.”
The Hawks got off to a 4-0 start in game one and were able to hold a sizeable lead all the way through. Heather Verrill and Maxine Cooks came up with nice kills at the net, but it wasn’t enough to slow Silverado down.
“The way we were in the first game, that’s not the way we normally play,” said Olivas. “Games two and three were completely different.”
The second game began well for the Hawks, who picked up a pair of aces on the first two serves and jumped out to a 6-0 lead. This time, though, Barstow closed the gap and kept the lead down to the low single digits for much of the game. Kills by Verrill and Shekinah-Joy Toloumu got their team within four points, cutting the Hawks’ edge to 18-14. The gap stayed at four points, but at 21-17, Silverado began to pull away, and went on to take the seven-point win.
Olivas liked the tenacity shown by her team and how it kept coming back, but she’s hoping to eliminate the need for that.
“We’re so good at rallying back, but we shouldn’t be in the position where we have to rally,” she said. “We need more consistency.”
There were more nice kills from Verrill and two aces by Katelyn Andrews in game three, but in the end, it went much like game two. Barstow stayed closer than in the first game, but still came up short.
Verrill finished with eight kills on the night, while DeAnna Lopez had 17 digs. Cooks had five blocks, and Toloumu four kills.
The Aztecs have a few days’ break before their next match, and Olivas knows what needs to be worked on.
“Even though we got off to such a slow start, we still had something going on in game one. We’re making costly and totally fixable errors,” said the coach. “And we need to work on our serves. We had three service errors in game two, those are points we’re just giving away. We have the talent, but we need to be more cohesive.”
The Aztecs (3-4) are off until Monday, when they host Granite Hills.