AUBURN — Forest Lake Christian’s senior-heavy roster and experience won out in Thursday’s second-round CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division V matchup with Golden Sierra.
The host Falcons, seeded third, eliminated the No. 6 Grizzlies 19-25, 23-25, 19-25.
“We fought very hard and came up short. We made it a very close match by exchanging points in each game until Forest Lake Christian pulled away (in each) at the end,” Golden Sierra coach Justin Cox said.
The Grizzlies were led in the first set by the strong play at the net by Paige Murchison. On the evening, the junior recorded a team-high 13 kills. It was close at 17-15 Forest Lake Christian when the Falcons ended with an 8-4 run.
Golden Sierra toughened its defense in the second set as Elise Wilson (10 digs), Jordyn Condit, Kensie Clark and Murchison all contributing.
The Grizzlies established a quick six-point lead in the third set only to fall behind 12-11. Golden Sierra had few answers for Forest Lake’s senior middle Morgan Koch who hit several balls through, around and over the Griz block.
Golden Sierra tried to come back late behind the play of senior Abby Wever (8 kills, block, 5 digs) but The Falcons held on.
Condit totaled 25 assists on the night while Brittany LaShell chipped in with 8 digs. Golden Sierra, which ended 15-15, graduates five seniors. Its postseason appearance was the program’s 25th consecutive, second-best in the section after Ponderosa.