The Central Catholic volleyball team held off a feisty Pacheco team Wednesday in Los Banos – and they completed the third game of the 25-14, 25-22, 25-15 sweep without their coach after he was tossed from the game.
After coming back to win the second game – a back-and-forth affair featuring 13 ties and seven lead changes that culminated in a pair of Pacheco errors – a score reversal prompted a question by Central Catholic captain Abby Tremayne two points into the third game. The point originally went to the Raiders, but after conferring, the referees ruled that the back-court setter had come too far forward. When Tremayne protested, she was shown a yellow card.
“You know, as a coach, you defend your player. My captain went to ask him a question. He pulled out a red and a yellow,” Central coach Cach Vo said. “First he pulled out the red, then the yellow, so he warned my captain with a yellow. Captains have the right to go ask a ref, because as a coach, I sit out. So he yellowed my girl, and I argued that play. He gave me a red card, so I walked straight out. I didn’t want to say anything to the ref.”
A fired-up Raiders team returned to the court under the direction of assistant Kara Dumlao, and didn’t allow Pacheco to lead again in the decisive third game to improve to 2-0 in Western Athletic Conference play. Pacheco had its chance to reverse the tide in the second game, taking the lead at 10-9 before giving it up at 22-21.
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“Just, you know, the last couple, we had them in our clutches, and we got a little too cautious, maybe. That’s probably the way to say it,” Pacheco coach Cory Henwood said. “We didn’t step on their throats when we had the chance.”
Outside hitter Lauren Nicholson led CC with 6 kills, and middle blocker Anna Raspo racked up 7 blocks against the shorter Pacheco team.
“We’re probably the shortest team in the league, and hey, we don’t mind that,” Henwood said. “We’re a big defensive team – a ruthless defensive team. Tonight the mistakes mainly came on a few serving errors, and too cautious of hits, trying to place them in the right spots and missing.”
Pacheco middle blocker Isabel Quintero had 11 kills, 8 blocks and 6 aces, leading the Panthers in all three categories. Linda Thompson led in assists with 10, followed by Mykayla Latronica with 9. Jen Eagleton led with 8 digs, and added 9 kills and 4 aces.
The Panthers entered league play coming off a second-place performance at the Don Pedro Small School Volleyball Tournament in La Grange.
Across town, Los Banos opened league play with a 25-7, 25-3, 25-19 road win over Central Valley.