GARDEN VALLEY — The door for Golden Sierra to defeat a team above it in the Sierra Delta League standings shut Wednesday with the Grizzlies’ 16-25, 23-25, 18-25 loss to visiting Vacaville Christian.
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At 6-4, Golden Sierra lost the season series to both first-place Vacaville Christian (9-0) and second-place Bradshaw Christian (8-1). The Griz have two matches left before the postseason.
Wednesday against the Falcons, Golden Sierra lacked the spark commonly associated with the program. The Grizzlies did grab a set the last time the two met — on the road no less — but suffered the sweep on their own court.
“We kind of rolled over,” senior Kensie Clark said. “Vacaville Christian came to win and we didn’t match that.”
Had Golden Sierra won the middle set — one in which the Griz rallied for a late lead — the outcome is up for grabs. Unfortunately, the Falcons pushed through and then broke from a 1-1 tie in the third set to lead the rest of the evening.
“We came out flat and couldn’t put plays together. It was as if we played the whole match with our backs to the wall,” Golden Sierra coach Justin Cox said.
Two Autumn Nordby feeds to Abby Wever gave the hosts an early advantage in the opening game but the lead — and Grizzly play — faded. Nordby rallied her team with back-to-back points, the second on a block, but Vacaville pulled away.
Golden Sierra battled for the second set but chased the Falcons who sat in the driver’s seat. The Grizzlies tied the score on multiple occasions — Elise Wilson’s ace and twice on Tristan Nedeigh kills — and led 20-18 after Clark landed an ace and Paige Murchison a kill.
The Falcons came back but a big Jordyn Condit-Wever roof block switched momentum back to the Griz sideline. Golden Sierra did hold a 23-22 lead with Condit on serve before Vacaville’s 3-0 run on Grizzly miscues put the Falcons up 2-0.
Golden Sierra played from behind the entire third set, unable to catch and overtake Vacaville.