The Spartans seemed to be on the road to victory, as they faced off against Sierra Pacific on Tuesday, Oct. 27, opening the match with an explosive first set. However, as the game progressed the Spartans began to tire, leading to their eventual 3-1 loss.
Sierra Pacific opened the first set with a kill. However, the Spartans were quick to answer back as freshman Lucy Bennett put a point on the board for Strathmore. The first set was a back and forth match as teams swapped points. Eventually, outside hitter Taylor Alkire made the first ace of the night as she tied the score 18-18.
In a sloppy attempt to regain their lead over Strathmore, Sierra Pacific left their center open allowing Ashlyn Della to make the kill, giving the Spartans a two-point lead over the Golden Bears. However, after a failed serve by Strathmore’s Isabella Galang and an unsuccessful block by Alkire, Sierra Pacific tied the score at 21-21.
The Spartans called a much needed time out. After returning to the court the Spartans seemed to have regained their focus, as Alkire made a kill giving Strathmore the lead. The two teams went into extra points and after a long fought back-and-forth battle Strathmore hit the ball out of bounds giving Sierra Pacific the two-point lead and the first set win.
The Spartans did not let their narrow loss disrupt their momentum as they opened the second set with an eight-point lead. Sierra Pacific quickly began making up lost ground as they managed to close the gap. The Golden Bears could not win the set as the Spartans won with a two-point margin, 26-24.
Unfortunately, the Spartans did not take their winning energy back on to the court as they lost the third set in a harsh 25-16 defeat.
As the Spartans pressed on they continued to block the net as well as complete several kills bringing the score closer to a Strathmore win, 11-14. However, after a botched served by Strathmore’s Abigail Rivera, Sierra Pacific regained control of not only the ball, but the game. Sierra Pacific capitalized on Strathmore’s weak far left corner scoring multiple points from the undefended court. The weak spot led to the Strathmore defeat in the fourth set 23-25. With Tuesday’s loss, the Spartans moved to 5-16 record on the year.
On Thursday, Oct. 29 the Spartans traveled to Corcoran to battle the Panthers in a East Sequoia contest. The Panthers went into the contest with a record of 9-12. In the first set against the Panthers, Strathmore narrowly won the first two sets by a three-point margin. In the third set the Spartans fought hard to close out the match with a 3-0 victory but where unable to stop the Panthers attack as they lost the set 22-25. The Spartans managed to rally back in the fourth set, breaking their three-game losing streak with a 3-1 win. This is the third win for interim coach Jayle Eochat.
The Spartans traveled to Porterville, on Tuesday, Nov. 3 where they will faced off against the Granite Hills Grizzlies. The game took place after press time and will be covered in the next edition of the Foothills Sun-Gazette.