Marielle Thoma delivered Tuesday night for her El Dorado High volleyball teammates.
A sophomore defensive specialist, Thoma served seven of eight points in the second game of the Cougars’ Sierra Valley Conference opener against River City inside Lawrence A. Brown Gym — helping El Dorado (1-0, 2-9) sweep the Raiders in straight sets, 25-17, 25-13, 25-13.
“I just try to focus to do my best,” Thoma said. “I don’t get a lot of time playing, but when I do, I go in as hard as I can … prove to (Cougars head coach Sharon Hardy) that I should be playing (at the varsity level). I’m staying confident.”
Hardy added, “She did great, didn’t she? I love seeing her going in and be confident. We’ve been working on her serving. It helped us to get on a good run.”
Leading the second game 5-3, Thoma started her tear behind the line that included four aces. Add in two kills from Julia Kirk, and El Dorado built its lead to 13-3. Kristen Van Guilder contributed in the Cougars’ scoring with two aces while Mackinzie Niemann and Lena Gavin helped out with a combination of service points, aces and kills to end the set in favor of the Cougars.
In the third set, El Dorado jumped out to a 12-4 advantage thanks to three aces from freshman Kylie Haverson and Piper Raleigh, plus River City sideouts. Trailing 19-9, the Raiders rallied to cut the Cougars’ lead to 19-13 thanks to a combination of service points, aces and Cougar sideouts. Three River City side outs and two kills from Kylee Hardy concluded the set and match for El Dorado.
While the Cougars have had tough nonconfernece five-set losses to Folsom, Monterey Trial and Del Oro, the win over the Raiders should carry over into future conference matches, Hardy feels.
“We played some real tough teams and we played them very hard,” Hardy said. “That’s what we wanted to do, to force the kids to work harder in the games.”
Hardy played her entire 13-player roster in the match.
“Everyone played well,” Hardy said.
Thoma added, “It’s good to win our first league game.”
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or email@example.com. Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.