Volleyball: Golden West’s struggles continue

Trailblazers drop leads in all four sets and fall 3-1 to the Pirates

By Patrick Dillon

VISALIA – Golden West (0-7) has only managed to win three sets in seven non-league matches so far this season. Their third came on Wednesday, Sept. 5, in a 3-1 (18-25, 18-25, 25-22, 16-25) loss to the Reedley Pirates (14-1-1). Although, the match resulted in the Blazers seventh straight loss head coach Laura Lopez has not seen her team lose their determination to get better.

“We are working on everything in order to get that first win,” Lopez said. “ But the girls come back every practice and they want to put the work in to get that first win.”

Trailing in the sets 2-0 and losing their best offensive player Haley Vawter to a knee injury in the second set, it could have been easy for Golden West to give up a fight in the third set. However, they did the opposite.

The Blazers had no difficulty getting out to big leads. In the first two sets they had leads of 4-1 and 5-2, it was keeping those leads which proved to be most difficult for them. The third set once again saw them take a 5-2 lead, but their youth and inexperience shown through in dig, serve and kill errors which allowed Reedley to stay in the game. Eventually Reedley took the lead at 8-7.

The different outcome was a result of the Blazers retaking the lead not once but twice. Paige Banaga served an ace to give her team the lead 20-19. While she served the ball into the net on her next attempt it gave her team enough of a spark to push for the win. Another ace by Samantha Reynoso served as set point for the Blazers.

The fourth set saw the Blazers get out to their biggest lead of the match 7-2. Yet once again Golden West mistakes along with Reedley kills and blocks made it a close contest again at 8-7 Pirates.

On Wednesday, Sept. 12, the Blazers continue league play against the Redwood Rangers at 6 p.m. The defending WYL champions are 12-3 overall.

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