Strathmore wins ESL opener with sweep

It's not about how you start, it's about how you finish, and that's what Strathmore High School volleyball showed Monday evening.

The Spartans (1-0 ESL) slashed multiple leads by the Panthers of Corcoran (0-1 ESL) to win their East Sequoia League home-opener in straight sets: 25-19, 25-15 and 25-20.

Trailing 12-8 in the first set Strathmore capitalized off Corcoran's mistakes and stopped the bleeding by scoring nine straight points to take an 18-12 lead and hold the Panthers off for the win.

“They started out rough and then they got it together,” first-year SHS head coach Nick Diaz said. “They stayed together and that's why they pulled through.”

The Spartans led the entire second set but in the third they once again trailed early, this time 7-3 and then 10-5. But big kills from Jacelyn Ashcraft and Sydney Ruckman, as well as aces from Karina Zavala helped them regain the lead 12-10 with seven unanswered points.

Corcoran stuck with Strathmore, making it a one-point set three times but could never tie or take the lead.

Jazmine Soto led the Spartans with 18 assists, nine digs and six kills while Ashcraft had seven kills and three digs. Ruckman had eight digs and five kills, Brooklyn Della totaled five kills and four digs, and Rebecca Acevedo finished with two digs and one kill. Aliyah Garcia also had four kills and Kathy Gonzalez had 12 digs.

Diaz, who said Monday was his one-month anniversary head coach, complimented the team's improvement over the past four weeks.

On what he'd like to see out of the team this season, he said, “I just want them all to work hard and try their hardest, and if they do — if we win or lose — it's good.”

Marauders place 3rd in Morro Bay tourney

Monache High School volleyball finished third out of 14 teams in Friday and Saturday's tournament in Morro Bay.

On Friday, the Marauders lost 2-0 to Sierra Pacific (24-26, 24-26), beat St. Joseph 2-1 (25-17, 19-25, 15-13) and lost 1-2 to Righetti (24-26, 25-16, 14-16). On Saturday, Monache beat Washington Union 2-0 (24-23, 25-14), lost 2-0 to Frontier (17-25, 22-25), then defeated Morro Bay 25-19 and finished with a 25-13 loss to Bakersfield Christian.

The Marauders' Gabriella Cox earned All-Tournament Player.

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