SHINGLE SPRINGS — Ponderosa High’s varsity girls volleyball program fell 25-19, 25-19, 21-25, 25-23 to Placer Thursday.
The match was Ponderosa’s first with a fully-active roster this season as injuries and illness have plagued the Lady Bruins as they prepare for conference action on Wednesday. While the full starting block didn’t have enough to overtake Placer, the performance showed progress.
“I’m proud of the girls tonight,” Bruin coach Sheri Millhollin said. “I’m proud of their work, proud of their fight. I think there were some mental mistakes out there that we can work on, and we’ll just need some time for them to get used to playing with each other.”
Ponderosa lost 25-19 in both game one and two of the match, despite great performances by seniors Alex Rader and Lindsey Bowles at the net and service from Nicole Banke and Kenna Davidson. Ponderosa took game three 25-21, capping it off with a wicked dig-set-kill combination by Rader and Bowles.
“Out hitting today was outstanding,” Millhollin said. “We were hitting well, we just have to get used to the size of our block. We’re used to having the biggest block in the league, and this year that’s just not the case.”
Game No. 4 found the hosts scrambling to overcome an early Placer lead. The Bruins brought it within 20-19, but Placer righted itself to finish out.
Bowles finished with 21 kills while Rader netted 11 in the loss. Megan Jones and freshman Maddie Clayton each had three kills while senior Kylie Christensen had a pair of kills. Sarah Walker and Lauren Williams had one kill each. Banke and Christensen had 18 and 13 assists, respectively.
Sophomore Nicole Banke served two aces in the match, while Senior Morgan O’Neill, Walker and Bowles had one apiece.
Defensively, Williams and Bowles each had two solo blocks while Rader and Walker posted a block each.
O’Neill put forth an exceptional effort with 18 digs. Rader dug seven balls, while Christensen and Bowles had five digs each.