El Dorado took the season series from River City, sweeping the visiting Raiders 25-15, 25-21, 26-24 Tuesday night.
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The victory allowed the Cougars (6-2) to keep pace in the Sierra Valley Conference with first place Vista del Lago (9-0). El Dorado’s week held home matches against two teams at the bottom of the standings: River City (2-7) and yesterday’s game with Galt (0-8). Next week: Vista and Cosumnes Oaks.
The Raiders play better than their record indicates. Last month in West Sacramento, the Cougars prevailed 3-1 but each set was an overtime 26-24 score. Tuesday, River City came on in the last two games to challenge the hosts.
The Cougars closed the first set with a 10-3 run, tying on a Sabrina Tate set for MaKenzie Niemann kill and taking the lead on Tate’s serve. Multiple points from Serena Franz and Kyle Haverson, Abby Bennett’s deposit, Riley Weinhold’s ace and her dump to the middle switched the benches.
The middle set had multiple tie and lead changes. The Raiders were poised to grab the win but El Dorado hung in on Rachel Rus’ tip, multiple blocks from Makayla Hoyt and kills by Haverson, Franz and Bennett.
Weinhold’s back set for Rus’ spike off the block tied the set at 20s and Piper Raleigh’s tough serve for two aces carried El Dorado to game point, a wayward free ball that landed out.
Defensively and on serve, the Cougars received stellar play from Joy Martin, Raleigh, Kristen Van Gilder, Tate and Weinhold. Big blocks came from Bennett, Neimann and Hoyt and the hitting from Franz, Rus and Haverson with Tate and Weinhold mixing up their passes.
El Dorado faced a large deficit in the third set before mounting a rally and eventually pulling out the overtime win.
“We lost momentum in the third set so I called a time out and made them pick a personal goal to get back into the game,” Cougar coach Shelley Bishop said. “I told them afterwards that they have to stay consistent this week in order to have the right frame of mind to play Vista and Cosumnes Oaks next week.”