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Kofa swept at home
For the first time since Sept. 29, 2011, the Kofa volleyball team lost a regular season match.
Willow Canyon came to town and swept the Kings 25-19, 25-23, 25-17 — snapping a 10-match winning streak dating back to last season.
“I really don’t think it was skill-wise that brought us down. I think it was our mentality. In my opinion, I thought we were evenly matched but I think some of my girls were intimidated,” Kofa coach Brittany Garcia said. Last year the Kings swept the Wildcats in Willow Canyon.
Junior outside hitter Jasmine Ortiz had 13 digs to lead the Kings along with nine digs. Senior libero Seli Rios finished with a team-high 14 digs and sophomore setter Sally Gastelo finished with 18 assists.
“Defensively, I thought we had a good night. Offensively, we couldn’t get it together,” Garcia said.
The last time the Kings lost a regular season match was being swept at home against Lake Havasu. Kofa also lost 3-0 in the first round of the state tournament.
Kofa (3-1) seemed to hurt themselves in their loss to the Wildcats, committing 16 service errors on the night.
“Hopefully it’s just because it’s early in the season. We’ve had a few missed serves in the past few games but, like, only two or three and some games like seven or eight,” Garcia said. “I don’t know what that was. Maybe it was just their mentality and not being confident.”
In the opening game, it was tied 18-18 before the Kings committed a service error — their fifth of the game — which led to a 6-0 run for the Wildcats. The Kings’ best game of the match came in the second, taking a 23-22 lead after an Ortiz kill. However, Kofa followed with their 12th service error and after a Wildcat ace, Willow Canyon outside hitter Marley Berg came up with a kill to put Kofa into a 2-0 hole. The Kings committed eight service errors in the 25-23 loss in the second game.
Kofa was narrowly trailing in the third set after a kill by senior middle blocker Jacky Fuentes cut the Willow Canyon lead to 14-11. But once again, a Kofa service error led to another 6-0 for the Wildcats and put the game out of reach, before the match ended by yet another Kings service error.
“They have the skills to be there and beat them. It just comes down to not being able to finish,” Garcia said.
Jesse Severson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 539-6881. Find him on Facebook at facebook.com/YSJesseSeverson