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Feather fly between RedHawks, Eagles
After watching Princeton High claw back from a two-set deficit and take a 14-13 lead in the fifth and final set, Sally Loeza took it upon herself to win it for Colusa.
The junior RedHawk fired off three consecutive aces and gave Colusa (1-1) a five-set victory in their home volleyball opener Thursday night.
"I just focused on my team and what they want. I just did what I do in practice and pretend nobody is around," Loeza said.
Colusa dominated the two sets with crisp hitting from Teale Stacey and blocking from Jasmine Savage, winning 25-13 and 25-17, before Amanda Hansen and Maryssa Martin took control.
Princeton (1-1) won the third and fourth sets 25-19 and 25-18 to set up the final set showdown.
Savage gave Colusa an 8-6 lead with a block but with Martin serving, the Eagles retook the lead 11-8. Stacey pulled the RedHawks within one point with a block but Jessica Lohse slammed home a kill setting up match point for Princeton.
A hitting error gave the RedHawks the ball back and Loeza launched three aces to give Colusa its first win of the season after opening the season with a loss to East Nicolaus.
With just two seniors on the team, the RedHawks will rely on the leadership of returning starter Yasmin Moreno.
"We're going to have to work on moving our feet a little more because that was kind of a problem, but our hitting and our passes were pretty good today," Moreno said.
Princeton opened the season with a win against Biggs but ran into trouble against the taller RedHawks.
The Eagles have two four-year starters, Martin and Hansen, and added Lohse, a senior transfer from Hamilton, as they seek to advance deeper into the playoffs this year after losing in five sets to Liberty Christian last year.
Martin finished with 11 kills, 24 digs and five aces, Lohse added seven kills and three aces, and Hansen had 16 assists.
"They've been working for this and as seniors they want to go out on top. Last year we lost a tough one in the playoffs but these early season tests kind of build up toward those things and keep making you stronger," Princeton coach Matt Harvey said.
Seniors Marisela Valencia, Julia Romo and Lauren Ferreira give Harvey a veteran group of seniors in their quest to reach the Division VI finals.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at email@example.com. Like us on Facebook at TCN Sports; follow us on Twitter @TCNvarsity